Newspaper ad spend is much healthier than SMI suggests

SMI data is frequently quoted in the press and used to interpret the health of newspaper ad revenue. This is however a mistake. SMI provides only a partial view of newspaper ad revenue, since it only covers advertising booked by media agencies. It omits revenue from advertising booked directly by advertisers, which comprises the majority of newspaper ad revenue.

Generate more revenue than SMI suggests

The chart provides a clear visual to illustrate the fact that SMI only captures the minority of newspaper ad revenue.  This is true of National and Metro newspapers, but even more so for regional and community newspapers.

The points that follow from this are that:

1)SMI significantly underestimates the scale of ad spend in newspapers (this is particularly true for categories where there is a lot of direct advertising, eg automotive dealer ads).
2)Trend analysis via SMI is often misleading, as it only says what is happening in one part of the market.
For more Nickable Charts from The Newspaper Worksclick here.


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