The World Press Trends 2015 report, the definitive guide to the global newspaper industry published by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), was released Monday 5 October, during the World Publishing Expo in Hamburg, Germany.
It may come as a surprise and it is worth remembering, about 2.7 billion adults today still read newspapers in print, nearly half of the world's adult population. Online, some 800 million access newspaper content digitally, or nearly half of all desktop Internet users. There has never been a larger audience for newspapers.
Newspapers - both print and online - produce nearly US $180bn in annual revenue, larger than the book publishing, music or film industries.
These are just a few of the facts contained in the report, which is a concise companion to WAN-IFRA's World Press Trends database, providing rapid access to the key statistics and trends that define the news media industry today.
WAN-IFRA on Monday also launched a new interface for its World Press Trends database, which now includes interactive graphics, more information and is easier to use.
"Much of the accepted wisdom about the newspaper business is based too often on assumptions and anecdotes and is often a partial picture or even completely wrong. With World Press Trends, we are providing critical insights into what is really happening, backed by the numbers,' said Teemu Henriksson, Coordinator of the World Press Trends project at WAN-IFRA.
The report includes data on circulation, readership, advertising revenues and digital publishing trends in more than 70 countries, accounting for more than 90% of the global industry's value. The report is compiled through an enormous undertaking by dozens of national newspaper and news media associations and through support from global data suppliers including Zenith Optimedia, IPSOS, ComScore, the Pew Research Center, RAM and the ITU.
For the first time this century, circulation has surpassed advertising to become the biggest source of publishers' revenues. Global print and digital circulation revenue totalled US $92bn last year, while advertising revenues provided $86bn. This is a seismic shift from a strong business-to-business emphasis - publishers to advertisers - to a growing business-to-consumer emphasis, publishers to audiences.
The six largest newspapers markets worldwide are the US ($37bn), Japan ($18bn), Germany ($16bn), China ($14bn), the UK ($8bn) and India ($7bn).
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, young people continue to seek out news: seven in 10 of millennials get news on a daily basis. Forty percent of them pay for at least one news specific app or digital subscription, and 16% pay for a print newspaper subscription. However, their number one gateway for more than half of news topics is Facebook.
More data from World Press Trends can be found at www.wan-ifra.org/wpt