While the print advertising industry continues to decline in the US market, it has been gaining speed in the Persian Gulf market. Newspaper readership is extremely high in this market, compared to the steady decline which has been occurring in the United States.
The six countries that make up the Persian Gulf spent $2.96 billion on advertisements in newspapers and magazines. While this is only a small percentage of what advertisers spend in the US market, this number is 21% higher than it was the previous year, and 44% higher than in 2005.
This growth in the print-ad industry can be attributed to the increase in government spending, due to the soaring revenue resulting from the success of the oil industry. Businesses that appear to be taking advantage of this successful print-ad industry include property developers, telecommunications, and the banking industry.
Even with a growth of internet advertising in the Persian Gulf, a large percentage of this market maintains the tradition of reading the morning and afternoon newspapers. Recent polls have shown that 87% of Kuwait reads the newspaper daily, along with 67% of Saudi Arabia reporting to read the newspaper daily.
Compared to the US market, where multiple newspapers have suffered financial difficulties that result in reversing marketing objectives and staff lay-offs, the Persian Gulf continues to launch new newspaper companies. It appears that the tradition of reading the newspaper in this market has a greater significance within the culture, and has allowed for print advertisements to continue to thrive.
[Fam, Mariam. "Print-Ad Business Booms in Persian Golf." The Wall Street Journal. 1 May 2008: B7.]