A Startling Stat on the State of Print.

It’s trivia week here at the Producer’s Perspective!  Yesterday a Sondheim stat and now take a look at this:

We all know that print advertising is on the decline, right?

Well, check this out:

In 2008, a Four Color, Full Page ad in the Sunday New York Times cost $109,000.

(That was about the time when I was talking to a NYT sales rep and trying to explain why Off-Broadway shows needed more of a price break if the Times expected us to advertise there, and the rep said, “Sorry, we don’t do that sort of thing. We are the New York Times.”)

In 2011, the cost dropped to $87,000.

And now, this season, it’s $79,200.

And the funny/sad sort of thing is . . . I still don’t see a lot of them.  Do you?

What’s the takeaway?

It’s not that print is dying.  We all knew that.  And I bet the Times knew it before all of us . . . because they were writing articles about it!

The takeaway is that your business, your show, your foundation can be rock solid strong.  But if the earth around you moves, your house could come tumbling down.

So you better be prepared to put something else up (preferably online) in its place.


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  • alex says:

    Wonder what it costs for the Saturday Wall Street Journal advertisement?

  • Rich Mc says:

    I think to be complete, the price history of interactive NYT real estate ads should also be posted, and compared. Very true, print real estate ads in general are diminishing in importance, as reflected by cross-the-board reductions in ad rates. But maybe the NYT is suffering disproportionately from reduced readership, and this is reflected in the draconian home-ad rate reductions cited by Ken. If true, surely this has implications that directly impact theater.

  • Paul Mendenhall says:

    Truer words were never spoken. I worked for an organization that provided management services to small arts companies that couldn’t afford their own offices and staffs. But it was dependent on CETA funding; along came Reagan, and boom, no more CETA. Later, I had a thriving wholesale business. Along came the internet, and who needed middlemen? Lucky for me I went to a college that emphasized adaptability!

  • The actual cost of printing a page is more then the ad dollars earned FOR THAT PAGE! But remember, ad dollars are also determined by circulation numbers, and those are continuously spiraling downward.
    The zenith of my print career was at NEWSWEEK and it folded with this new year. TIME is about to follow, just cut loose this week by Time-Warner.
    Brave New World? We’ll see.

  • Laurent says:

    I beg to differ that we see less and less full page ads. Sure, there may have been more before, but EVERY Sunday page 3 of NY Times’ Arts and Leisure is a full page ad. And last week, Les Miserables took out a 2 page(pages 2 and 3) ad!

  • Chris says:

    Don’t forget that advertising is sold on a CPM basis, that’s cost per thousand people who will see your ad. As print circulation continues to drop, you might find that the per impression cost of print ad might be more that it was in past years.

    Also online advertising is dramatically less expensive per thousand impressions that print. If you can create a way to find the same amount of reach that a print title gives you, you’ll be on to something.

    Also keep in mind that print advertising you pay for all the subscribers who get that Sunday paper on their stoop. In online advertising, you’re only paying for the people who truly look at your ad.

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