Newspapers See Online Ad Growth

Newspapers saw double-digit growth in their online advertising revenues in the second quarter of 2005, according to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). The group said online ad spending rose to $500.7 million — 28.6 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

Overall, ad revenues for newspapers and their Web sites totaled $12.2 billion for the second quarter of 2005, a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase. During the period, print ads in newspapers grew 1.9 percent year-to-year to reach $11.7 billion. Classified advertising led growth offline, growing 5.3 percent to $4.1 billion, while retail advertising rose 1.4 percent to $5.5 billion.

According to John F. Sturm, NAA’s president and CEO, online advertising in newspapers is benefiting from companies’ efforts to expand their online footprints. “Newspaper sites continue to rank at the top of the most visited online news sources in the nation,” he said. “The significant growth in online ad spending is recognition of newspapers’ leadership position on the Web.”

Newspapers are facing stiff competition for classified advertising from online competitors like Craigslist and Oodle.

Many newspaper publishers, such as Tribune and Knight Ridder, have made moves to compete with these free providers and aggregators by opening up their own online editions to offer free classifieds in some or all categories.

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