Internet and TV channels may be getting an increasing number of eyeballs, but newspapers are holding out to the competition as their circulation rose last year across the world on booming demand in India and China, World Association of Newspapers has said.
The paid-for newspaper circulation rose by 1.9 per cent over the 12 months and by 8.7 per cent over five years to more than 510 million copies in 2006. Similarly, the number of new paid-for titles crossed 11,000 mark for the first time in the history, WAN said, quoting preliminary data from its World Press Trends survey.
"Circulations continue to grow globally and not just in China and India," the association said, while asserting that these facts and figures have belied various myths about the newspapers, such as "circulations are falling" and "newspaper as a medium and a business is on decline".
India and China played a major role in the rising circulations. Excluding Asia (including India and China), the global paid-for circulation was up just 0.04 per cent.
Across the various sub-continents, Asia recorded a 2.99 per cent growth, second-biggest after South America's 4.59 per cent. However, North America recorded a decline of 1.97 per cent in the paid-for circulations in 2006.
Asia also recorded the biggest rise of 6.13 per cent in the number of paid-for titles, as against a total of 3.22 per cent globally and declines in North and South Americas.
The free daily newspaper circulation more than doubled over the five years to 40.8 million copies a day, while more than 1.4 billion people are now reading a newspaper daily, the survey found.