ADVERTISING expenditure in newsbrands is set to return to full growth, according to figures published this week by the Advertising Association (AA)/Warc.

An overall rise of one per cent in national newsbrands in 2015 will be fuelled by strong growth in digital ad spend, forecast to grow by 22.8 per cent next year. The report also forecasts a improving picture for local newsbrands with a rise in digital ad spend of 8.1 per cent and a slowing of the decline in overall ad spend.

In a report on the data headed ‘Regional newsbrands: on the cusp of growth?’, Suzy Young, Warc data and journals director, wrote: “The UK press is still the UK’s most popular print medium, read by over 30 million people per week. The rise in digital consumption has forced the sector to diversify and, alongside 1,100 print titles, there are now 1,700 associated websites.

‘Future looks brighter for regonal newsbrands’

“As we look to 2016 and beyond, the future looks brighter for regional newsbrands, and it’s certainly feasible that advertising revenues will start to register growth accordingly.”

Newspaper Society intelligence manager Steve Brown is quoted in the piece: “The industry has faced challenges posed by a difficult economy in recent years but local media, in print and online, remains an important and powerful part of the media mix, highly trusted by audiences and a key driver of consumer action, as highlighted by the Consumer Catalyst study from Think Media.

“Fuelled by a growing demand for local news and information, the industry is experiencing a rapid growth in online audiences which is good news for national and local advertisers who understand the power of the highly trusted local media brand to drive consumer action across multiple platforms.”