Boosted by digital, newspaper subscription revenue up 5%

by Curtis Lee Fulton

Boosted by digital, newspaper subscription revenue grew 5% in 2012, says the National Association of Newspapers. Although overall revenue for newspapers dropped 2% in 2012, digital circulation revenue remains a bright spot for the beleaguered industry: pure digital circulation revenue grew 275%, print and digital bundled circulation revenue grew 499% and print-only circulation revenue slid 14%.

Newspaper publishers aren’t the only people watching these numbers. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has already spent $344 million investing in 28 newspapers and he backs the digital subscription strategy. In his famous letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders last month, Buffett cautioned investors that newspapers without paywalls will “self-destruct from a faulty business strategy.”