Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspaper Ad Leaders

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspaper Ad Leaders

Article excerpt

Top brand and company advertisers put more share into papers, less in TV

Newspapers last year gained -- and TV lost -- market share in the budgets of the top 100 brand advertisers in newspapers. Moreover, newspapers last year gained -- and TV lost -- market share in the budgets of the largest 100 parent companies of advertisers in newspapers.

The return to newspapers -- and move away from broadcast network, cable network, spot, and syndicate TV -- is small in percentage terms, although large in total dollar terms because of the vast sums of money involved.

An exclusive E&P/Competitive Media Reporting (CMR) report shows newspapers' revenue share of the top brands increased by 1.6 percentage points, from 56% to 57.6%, while TV's share dipped 0.8 of a percentage point, from 36% to 35.2%. The increase in newspapers' share helped boost their revenue from those brands by more than $600 million, from almost $5 billion to more than $5.6 billion.

Newspapers' revenue share of the top 100 newspaper advertisers among parent companies increased 0.4 of a percentage point, from 28.5% to 28.9%, while the TV revenue share from the group declined 0.2 of a percentage point, from 50.8% to 50.6%, the report discloses. Newspapers' share increase helped papers boost their revenue total from the parent company group by more than $925 million, from $7.1 billion in 1998 to more than $8 billion in 1999.

New York-based CMR tracks advertising in newspapers, TV, radio, magazines, and outdoor media. The TV category includes broadcast network, cable network, spot, and syndicate TV, but it does not include local cable TV, nor does it measure Internet advertising. CMR used its information to create calculations of the total spending of top advertisers in the 50 largest markets, including about 130 of the nation's top dailies. It also estimated spending by smaller advertisers, labeled "all other" in the attached charts, in those markets.

After decades when TV increased its ad share, data began to indicate the medium was approaching a plateau in its share several years ago; this CMR report contains more indications of such a trend in share, although total TV revenue continues to rise. The share decline in the TV category may reflect revenue loss to local cable TV, which is not measured in the TV category. It also may indicate spending diversion into the Internet and newspapers.

"Newspapers should be very pleased" with their increased revenue, says Geoffrey Miller, CMR's vice president for newspaper services. "You've also got to acknowledge that every other media has also done very well. 1999 was just an exceptional year for advertising."

Miller dismisses the slight decreases in TV share, saying, "I don't look at that as much of a dip. ... I wouldn't want to characterize that as a decline." While papers can always add pages for more ads, Miller points out that time limits how much TV advertising can be sold. "There is a certain limit of inventory that will cap the spending in that medium," he says.

If the economy holds up, newspapers are likely to "continue to grow incremental share" over the next two or three years, says Miller, who notes TV may have an additional slight loss of share.

The report findings are "very positive" for newspapers, says Chuck Paul, CMR's major accounts manager and director of client services. After analyzing the data, Paul says he doubts newspaper ad execs will be "shockingly surprised" by the report findings because "this is their business. They have to be up on these things or at least have a very good sense" of them.

"They've expressed [a realization] that the tide has turned a little more in their favor," says Paul, who notes local newspaper ad execs often spot early trends "at a more micro level." He adds, "At the same time, there are a lot of other increased pressures, so it's not a sit- back-and-celebrate kind of attitude. …

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