I saw this morning that the Newspaper Association of America released the 2008 figures for advertising revenues. Here is the news:

  • Total newspaper advertising revenue fell 16.6 percent in 2008 over the previous year to 37.8 billion dollars.
  • Print advertising revenue fell 17.7 percent to 34.7 billion dollars while online advertising revenue dropped 1.8 percent to 3.1 billion dollars.
  • Classified advertising revenue continued to plunge falling 29.7 percent to 9.97 billion dollars in 2008.
  • Real estate classified spend fell 38% to 2.5 billion dollars.

(More charts below.)

Many people have been asking where the newspaper advertising dollars are going? Scott Karp has a great post on this using the recent closure of the print edition of the Seattle PI as an experiment. He says:

Logically, one or a combination of the following will happen to the newspaper’s advertising dollars:

  1. Vaporizes, i.e. the advertiser stops spending the money — given the economic crisis, this seems likely for some advertisers
  2. Shifts to Seattlepi.com — which is hiring its own sales force following the dissolution of the joint operating agreement with the Seattle Times
  3. Shifts to another newspaper, i.e. Seattle Times — through the JOA, the same sales force sold ads for Seattle PI and Seattle Times, so it only makes sense that some advertisers will shift some or all of their spending to the Times
  4. Shifts to competing local online media, e.g. The Stranger, West Seattle Blog
  5. Shifts to non-local media that can target local audiences, e.g. Google, Craigslist (inc. Trulia.com)

What do you think will happen?