For the prestigious French daily le Monde, 2013 is not a good year. Its circulation is down by 5% at 275000 copies. Its advertising income is just even thanks to the success of its Friday magazine. It is likely that the profits of the Website will just compensate the losses of the print version.
Still, there are some reasons to hope for the best. The Website attracts a powerful audience with nearly 9 millions unique visitors and 32000 digital copies are sold everyday, much much more than other national dailies such as le Figaro or les Echos. In fact, le Monde is probably the only French newspaper which is known worldwide and can attract French speaking internauts in Africa and America.
What le Monde needs is a global strategy to stop the fall of the print circulation which still contributes to 90% of its income and improve its paying services on Internet which should make for a lagging advertising revenue.
It means that the daily should move from an afternoon to a morning newspaper. It would allow it to be better delivered out of Paris and use the printing facilities of the regional press. No doubt such a move would turn an important profit that could be used to find new subscribers. Up to now, the subscription service has been fairly inefficient and needs to be boosted.
Moreover, the merger in process of the digital and the print newsrooms will definitely improve the offer of the Web service.
So the future doesn't look too bad but time is running short. 2014 will be a decisive year.