The owner of the Daily Mail, the i and Metro said that print advertising revenues for its portfolio of titles plunged by 70% in April and May as the coronavirus lockdown hammered the newspaper industry.
Daily Mail & and General Trust, which also owns Mail Online and the Mail on Sunday, said that total revenues across its consumer media division were down by a third in April. In April, DMGT said circulation revenues fell by 17%, with total advertising revenue down 46% – with print ads down 69% and digital advertising falling 16%.
It fared little better in the first four weeks of this month, to 24 May, with total revenues down 30%. The decline in circulation revenues has improved to a 9% fall, with total advertising revenue down 45%. Print advertising remains down 70%, with digital advertising falling 17%.
Newspaper publishers have benefited from record digital audiences as readers crave news on the coronavirus. However, with businesses shut down and many advertisers keen to steer clear of running promotions around content relating to the pandemic, publishers have failed to reap the benefits of an ad boost.
DMGT said that it has been encouraged by print retail circulation volumes of the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the i increasing each week since 5 April. The freesheet Metro’s circulation is running at about a quarter of its usual levels as the nation remains on lockdown and its commuter readers stay at home.
“At this stage it is too early to assess the extent to which readership habits may permanently change once lockdown measures are lifted completely,” the company said. “The board remains confident, however, that high levels of reader engagement will help to support revenue recovery in time.”
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