Reach ad revenue down 29% vs pre-pandemic period
National and regional news publisher Reach has reported a decline in ad revenue over the last five months.
In its trading update released today for the period 28 June 2021 to 21 November 2021, the publisher of the Daily Express and Daily Mirror revealed its advertising revenue for the period decreased by 2.8%.
This is compared to a combined two-year like-for-like comparison versus the same period in 2019 where advertising revenue declined by 29.2%.
The first half of the year and year-to-date figures also demonstrated a decline as advertising revenue decreased by 4.3% for H1 2021 and 3.6% for the year-to-date in 2021. This compares to 33.7% for H1 2019 and 31.7% year-to-date in 2019.
Circulation and print revenue
Circulation and print revenue also appeared to "moderate further" as they shrank by 3.7% and 3.5% respectively for this period, compared to a decrease of 15.6% and 21.4% for the same time in 2019.
Year-to-date, both circulation and print revenue were down 4.5% compared to a decrease of 15.8% and 22.8% on the two year breakdown.
However, the report also stated revenue had continued to grow and was up 1.2% overall in the period, with digital up 17.2%. This is contrasted to digital revenue increasing 36.4% for June to November 2019.
Print ad revenue decline expected despite wider recovery
The publisher's trading update is broadly in line with large media agency groups' market forecasts.
Zenith adspend forecast predicted digital advertising to grow by 19% in 2021, and increase its share of total adspend, while print would continue declining for the 14th consecutive year with an 8% drop in adspend forecast this year.
This decline in print advertising is echoed by Group M's Global Mid Year Forecast from June 2021, as its report said: "Looking at other media, we expect print, including newspapers and magazines, to continue to decline on an ongoing basis."
Specifically, the forecasted that newspaper adspend would decrease by 0.6% in 2021 and with a further 3.6% decline predicted over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Group M stated magazine ad spend would fall by 2.2% in 2021, with another 4.9% decline predicted until 2026.