Ads were once the lifeblood of newspapers, but now the industry has struggled to keep up with the digital age.
In fact, the numbers show that advertisers are losing money as a result of their online presence, according to a new report from ad analytics company AdAge.
This includes digital ads, digital advertising for print, and traditional ads that appear on social media.
The company’s research found that in the past 12 months, digital ads account for only 7.5 percent of ad revenue for newspapers.
Digital ad revenue has been stagnant for the past decade, but this year the market has picked up in terms of volume and interest.
According to AdAge’s analysis, in 2017 newspapers spent an average of $1,600 on digital ad spending.
That’s down from $1.1 million in 2016, but still a substantial increase.
“Digital advertising for newspapers is a very new and relatively uncharted market, with very few well-established brands in the industry and no clear definition of what it means to be a digital advertiser,” the company said in a statement.
So how are newspapers responding to this?
“It’s a complex issue,” said James D. Zagorski, senior vice president of advertising at AdAge, in an interview with Ad Age.
Advertisers are “trying to figure out how to compete with a much larger market, and digital advertising is an obvious place to start.”
For example, in the US, newspapers are increasingly turning to social media for advertising, as it has been proven to boost readership.
However, as the market continues to grow, advertisers are facing new challenges in the digital space, Zagonski explained.
Online publishers, for example, are facing a shortage of advertising space due to the explosion of the digital market, but are also seeing a demand for ads that are more tailored to a specific audience.
Zagorsky said digital advertisers also face “a lot of competition” from digital video, which has been a major factor in the decline of print advertising.
But there are signs that digital ad revenues have begun to rebound, as well.
For instance, according for the first time, newspapers saw an increase in digital advertising revenue in 2018, up 5 percent.
Additionally, newspapers reported that their digital revenue was up 5.5 per cent year over year in 2018.
Despite these numbers, Zagski said there are still “a number of issues” that newspapers have to work out before digital advertising can be a viable option for newspapers, particularly in rural areas.
He said advertisers need to focus on targeting the specific audience they are targeting, and not the general population, because “that can lead to some problems.”
However he did note that “we are seeing a lot of interest” in digital ad products.
One way that newspapers can improve their digital strategy is by taking advantage of the technology they have at their disposal, Zigorski said.
Another way to get digital advertising to the target audience is to use automation, which he said “has been the most important” in improving ad effectiveness.
And, of course, newspapers need to figure how to deal with the rise of social media, which Zagronski said is likely to have a significant impact on the future of digital advertising.