Daily U.S. newspaper circulation has dropped below pre-World War II levels

by WorldTribune Staff, June 2, 2017

The shift from print to all-digital delivery has led to a drop in newspaper circulation to levels not seen since before World War II, according to an industry review.

The Pew Research Center in its “State of the News Media” review said daily newspaper circulation has dropped to a 77-year low of 34.6 million, six million less than papers sold in 1940.

“The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2016 was 35 million for weekday and 38 million for Sunday, both of which fell 8% over the previous year,” the Pew review said. “Declines were highest in print circulation: Weekday print circulation decreased 10% and Sunday circulation decreased 9%.”

Pew said the total estimated newspaper industry advertising revenue for 2016 was $18 billion, based on an analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. This was a decrease of 10 percent from 2015.

News outlets saw significant growth in digital delivery, the review said.

Average monthly unique visitors for the top 50 U.S. newspapers hit 11.7 million in 2016, compared with 8.2 million in 2014.

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