News Corp's 'weakness' in print advertising market

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 7 August 2020

The latest results from News Corp show the continuing decline in revenue from print media advertising and the rise of direct digital subscribers.

In Australia, the local arm of the global media group founder by Rupert Murdoch has pivoted to concentrate on digital titles and subscriptions.

In the fourth quarter, the global News Media group at News Corp (now ex-Dow Jones which is reported separately) posted a 58%, or $US290 million, drop in advertising revenue, much of it due to the sale of News America Marketing.

The rest of the decline was driven by a 17%, or $US100 million, hit from from COVID-19 and to the continued weakness in the print advertising market.

The suspension of a raft of community titles in Australia put a $US20 million, or 4%, hole in revenue.

Digital revenues represented 24% of news media revenue in the quarter compared to 19% in the same three months last year.

Digital subscribers at News Corp Australia’s mastheads were 647,600 at the end of June compared to 517,300 at the same time last year.

For the full year, news media advertising revenue fell $US445 million, or 22%, due to continued weakness in the print advertising market, the impact of COVID-19 and foreign currency fluctuations. 

Revenue at News Corp Australia fell 16%. 

The company says: "We have seen, and expect to continue to see, adverse effects on advertising and single-copy sales revenues."

News Corp says advertising revenues in July at the newspaper mastheads fell 25% to 30% in total compared to the prior year (which included results from the now sold News America Marketing and the suspended community titles in Australia.

"The overall decline in circulation volumes moderated in July from the lows experienced in April and May, particularly for the weekend papers," the company says.

"We continued to see compared to the prior year at the Australian mastheads."


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