Wall Street Journal print ad revenues down 7.2%
LONDON - As The Wall Street Journal's takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation proceeds, it has emerged that its print advertising revenues for July have dropped by 7.2% year on year and volumes have dropped 20.9%.
The drop in volume was mainly down to declines in the technology, classified and general advertising categories.
Revenues did not drop as much as volume because of an increase in yield, driven by an increased colour premium, favourable mix and the absence of a promotional programme, which ran in July 2006 but was not repeated in July 2007.
Technology advertising volume dropped by 75.4%, with decreases in communications, hardware, office products, software, and other B2B technology advertising, which was offset by an increase in personal computer ads.
Classified ad volume dropped 13.5% because of a decrease in real estate advertising, but this was partially offset by a gain in other classified ads. General advertising volume decreased 5.9% after decreases in auto, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, luxury goods and corporate advertising.
International print advertising revenue decreased 6.5% in July, primarily driven by declines in technology and classified ads.
Online advertising revenue at the The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, which includes WSJ.com, MarketWatch.com, Barrons.com and the company's vertical websites, increased 24% as a result of increases in financial and technology advertising.
Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp, said once the acquisition of Dow Jones is complete he plans to explore the possibility of making WSJ.com, currently a subscription business news website, entirely free.
Under the proposal, any lost subscription revenues could be recouped by a massive increase in online ads, backed by a huge expansion in readership. According to Murdoch, "It would be an expensive thing to do in the short term [but] in the long term, it may be a wonderful thing to do."
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