Print industry’s ad woes haven’t gone away

Media-buying agency Carat expects print ad revenues will fall 2% to €153 million this year

Although the advertising market in Ireland is tipped to rise 9-10 per cent this year, few industry-watchers expect much joy on the print side.

Carat Ireland’s forecasts are more bearish than some, with the agency expecting print advertising revenues to fall 2 per cent this year to a total of €153 million.

While the decline has stabilised – and direct advertising from property and recruitment has been doing better than agency sales – that figure is notable for the fact that it is less than half the €317 million the print advertising market was estimated by Carat to be worth in 2009.

While traditional print publishers are well-positioned to capitalise on digital and mobile growth, give their strengths in writing and reporting and their relationship with their readers, “it’s almost a pyrrhic exercise from them”, Carat says in its forecast document for 2016. “Every euro they take in digital seems to be coming at the expense of their print revenues, be it from copy sales or ad revenue.” Circulation data for the second-half of 2015 is due to be published by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) next Thursday and is likely to show further market declines.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics