Canadian newspapers’ revenue plummets in 2020

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The demand for advertising, especially print advertising, fell as many businesses closed or reduced activities in the country during the pandemic….reports Asian Lite News

The operating revenue of Canadian newspapers fell to C$2.1 billion in 2020, down 21.9 per cent from 2018, according to official figures.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadian newspaper publishers have experienced declining revenues over several years, and the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated many trends that have been transforming the industry in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

The demand for advertising, especially print advertising, fell as many businesses closed or reduced activities in the country during the pandemic.

The country’s newspaper industry earned C$1.5 billion in revenue from advertising sales in 2018, this figure declined to C$934.3 million in 2020.

In 2018, advertising revenues accounted for 59.7 per cent of the industry’s overall sales, but by 2020 the share of advertising sales dropped to 51.9 per cent of total sales.

Prior to the pandemic, the industry had already been transitioning toward increased reliance on digital advertising and digital circulation sales.

Newspaper. (File Photo: IANS)

From 2016 to 2018, Canadian newspapers saw a decrease of 23.9 per cent in print advertising sales. From 2018 to 2020, the decline in print advertising was 45.2 per cent.

Newspapers circulation sales also declined in 2020, but to a lesser extent than advertising sales. From 2018 to 2020, circulation sales decreased from C$645 million to C$596.8 million.

The circulation sales for print newspapers were down 12 per cent from 2028 to 2020, but circulation sales for digital newspapers surged 43.6 per cent.

In spite of the surge, digital circulation still accounted for a 12.5 per cent share of circulation sales overall.

The Canadian newspaper industry has been receiving official assistance. New measures, introduced in 2019, include the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, which covers a portion of salary costs for eligible employees of qualified media organisations.

In 2021, advertising demand is expected to rebound significantly from 2020, and this should benefit the industry. However, demand for print advertising is not expected to increase to the same degree as demand for advertising in other media, including radio, television and the internet.

Canadian newspaper industry continues to face significant competition from other sources of news mainly online for advertising revenue.

For these reasons, newspapers are not expected to see large revenue gains in 2021 compared with 2020, unlike many other industries, according to Statistics Canada.

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