The fall of the diffusion in the newspapers of payment in Spain. What have been the leading causes?

Through an exhaustive 11 years study (2000-2010), the causes of the fall of the paid press have been analysed. In this study, it has been tried to quantify to what extent each of these causes influences the crisis of the printed newspapers: the expansion of the digital media, the irruption of free papers, the bet (or not) for parallel distribution channels such as subscription, the incidence of the evolution of traditional outlets, the price of the product, a possible change in social habits and the beginning of the economic crisis.

The aim is to determine in what way and in what proportion these phenomena exert influences on the decrease in the dissemination of the daily press has been made through the detailed analysis of the six most critical general newspapers in Spain based on its dissemination: El País, El Mundo, ABC, La Vanguardia, El Periódico de Catalunya and La Razón.

The study, converted into a doctoral thesis, shows how the Spanish population increased by almost six million people in the period under investigation, of which 1.7 million were Spanish-speaking immigrants, which facilitated the possibility of consuming newspapers in Spanish.

Besides, in those eleven years, the real per capita income grew by 13.6%, so that the hypothesis that the decline in the sale of newspapers is the result of an impoverishment of the population can be refuted.

The study also notes that younger generations combine paper and digital support, without there being a radical substitution of one for another. On the other hand, an essential part of the population is still not an Internet user, about 23 million people living in Spain, in 2010, were not used to its use.

Regarding advertising, the pre-eminence it has had in the revenue items of the media is foreseeable that it will not occur again due to the increasing segmentation of audiences and because companies have been allocating proportionally fewer amounts to this industry each year.

The part destined to newspapers in 2000 supposed, practically, 30% of all the investment intended to conventional means, whereas in 2010 this percentage had fallen 9.5 points. In absolute terms, the loss was more than 545 million euros billed in the study period.

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