Trends in News Revenue:
The view from 30,000 feet (with a detour)
Jesse Holcomb
Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center
@je...
April 9, 2014 2www.pewresearch.org
“Tell the truth and trust the people.”
–Joseph N. Pew Jr.
April 9, 2014 3www.pewresearch.org
Advertising still dominates
•  Nearly two-thirds of total news revenue
•  Mostly print ...
April 9, 2014 4www.pewresearch.org
But things have changed
•  Total news revenue in 2006:
$95 billion
•  Today: $63-$65 bi...
April 9, 2014 5www.pewresearch.org
Growth in audience revenue
•  Newspaper circulation revenue up 5% in 2012
- First growt...
April 9, 2014 6www.pewresearch.org
Is it sustainable?
•  Pay TV Industry – Reached a peak
- Shed 251k subscribers in 2013;...
April 9, 2014 7www.pewresearch.org
The nonprofit news landscape
April 9, 2014 8www.pewresearch.org
Nonprofit vital signs
•  Identified 172 digital
nonprofits around the
U.S. (and 24 that...
April 9, 2014 9www.pewresearch.org
The survey
•  We secured participation from 93 outlets (54% response rate)
•  Asked 47 ...
April 9, 2014 10www.pewresearch.org
Nonprofit revenue streams
April 9, 2014 11www.pewresearch.org
Biggest challenge for nonprofits
April 9, 2014 12www.pewresearch.org
Revenue diversity:
Critical, but grants still matter
“We have four employees,
and I wi...
April 9, 2014 13www.pewresearch.org
Outside the nonprofit world
•  $300 million in venture capital for
digital journalism ...
April 9, 2014 14www.pewresearch.org
Hyperlocal also ad-focused
Knight Foundation consultant Michele McLellan surveyed
more...
April 9, 2014 15www.pewresearch.org
But digital ad market dominated by tech
April 9, 2014 16www.pewresearch.org
Public news values
-  Communities of interest
-  Daily information needs
-  Civic and ...
Trends in News Revenue:
The view from 30,000 feet (with a detour)
Jesse Holcomb
Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center
@je...
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Trends in News Revenue: The View From 30,000 Feet (with a detour): #newsrev briefing

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Briefing by Jesse Holcomb, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project, delivered at the Digital News Revenue Summit hosted by The Texas Tribune and Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, April 3, 2014.

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Trends in News Revenue: The View From 30,000 Feet (with a detour): #newsrev briefing

  1. 1. Trends in News Revenue: The view from 30,000 feet (with a detour) Jesse Holcomb Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center @jesseholcomb │pewresearch.org/journalism
  2. 2. April 9, 2014 2www.pewresearch.org “Tell the truth and trust the people.” –Joseph N. Pew Jr.
  3. 3. April 9, 2014 3www.pewresearch.org Advertising still dominates •  Nearly two-thirds of total news revenue •  Mostly print ($25 billion from daily newspapers) •  $13 billion from TV news
  4. 4. April 9, 2014 4www.pewresearch.org But things have changed •  Total news revenue in 2006: $95 billion •  Today: $63-$65 billion •  Audience and non-traditional revenue has grown as a share of the total
  5. 5. April 9, 2014 5www.pewresearch.org Growth in audience revenue •  Newspaper circulation revenue up 5% in 2012 - First growth since 2003 •  Retransmission fees on the rise - Now make up 2/3 of CNN U.S. revenue •  Public radio individual giving has grown - 2012 was second-biggest year since tracking began
  6. 6. April 9, 2014 6www.pewresearch.org Is it sustainable? •  Pay TV Industry – Reached a peak - Shed 251k subscribers in 2013; first full-year loss - Average expanded basic cable bill: $61 and rising •  Newspapers – Shrinking base of paying audience - Total weekday newspaper subs are flat at 44 million (down from 55 million in 2004) - Newspapers raising rates; more paywalls (500 & counting)
  7. 7. April 9, 2014 7www.pewresearch.org The nonprofit news landscape
  8. 8. April 9, 2014 8www.pewresearch.org Nonprofit vital signs •  Identified 172 digital nonprofits around the U.S. (and 24 that closed between 2008-12) •  Heavy focus on state, metro coverage •  Just ¼ cover general interest; rest are investigative & topically focused
  9. 9. April 9, 2014 9www.pewresearch.org The survey •  We secured participation from 93 outlets (54% response rate) •  Asked 47 questions on the following: - Hard financial data (revenues totals and revenue streams) - Staffing, expenditures and knowledge about business - Attitudes about the economic environment for a nonprofit
  10. 10. April 9, 2014 10www.pewresearch.org Nonprofit revenue streams
  11. 11. April 9, 2014 11www.pewresearch.org Biggest challenge for nonprofits
  12. 12. April 9, 2014 12www.pewresearch.org Revenue diversity: Critical, but grants still matter “We have four employees, and I wish [reducing reliance on] foundation money was a bigger problem for me.” – Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow
  13. 13. April 9, 2014 13www.pewresearch.org Outside the nonprofit world •  $300 million in venture capital for digital journalism in 2013 •  Understanding the web + growing a young audience = - Buzzfeed’s $60 million (native advertising) - Vice Media’s $175 million (video) •  5,000 new jobs created by nearly 500 digital journalism organizations
  14. 14. April 9, 2014 14www.pewresearch.org Hyperlocal also ad-focused Knight Foundation consultant Michele McLellan surveyed more than 40 for-profit, hyperlocal digital news organizations. - Typical revenue: Just over $100k per year - 9 out of 10 sites rely very heavily on advertising - The rest: mix of donations, events, web services, merchandise
  15. 15. April 9, 2014 15www.pewresearch.org But digital ad market dominated by tech
  16. 16. April 9, 2014 16www.pewresearch.org Public news values -  Communities of interest -  Daily information needs -  Civic and community engagement
  17. 17. Trends in News Revenue: The view from 30,000 feet (with a detour) Jesse Holcomb Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center @jesseholcomb │pewresearch.org/journalism

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