Digital expectations higher in 2012

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U.S. and Canadian newspapers have lowered their expectations concerning most advertising revenue sources in 2012, according to a study by KubasPrimedia. The one exception is digital, for which 53 percent foresee a large increase.

In 2012, about 70 percent of newspapers have definite plans to start or upgrade content delivery on mobile devices and to improve their website for online visitors.

Other 2012 oper­ating initiatives in­­­­­­clude controlling or reducing both staff and non-staff costs, charging readers for digital content, and starting a niche product. 

In terms of advertising sales initiatives, 65 percent to 70 percent have definite plans to expand email, mobile or e-reader digital advertising, to improve website advertising programs and options, and to upgrade digital sales capabilities.

Two other areas of attention for 2012 are upgrading print sales capabilities and improving ad pricing and rate structures.

Just over half of newspaper executives and managers surveyed said that current 2011 ad revenues are coming in worse than expected. The implication is that many newspapers will not achieve their budget forecasts this year.

The results of the sixth annual study by KubasPrimedia are based on a survey of 436 newspaper executives and managers conducted in November 2011.

A normal probability sample of this size has a maximum statistical error of plus or minus 4.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Toronto-based KubasPrimedia, formerly Kubas Consultants, is an international firm that specializes in newspaper pricing structures, revenue development, and publishing strategy.