Print & digital attracting more audiences, notes World Press Trends survey

10 Jun,2014

By a correspondent

 

The annual World Press Trends survey released by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has revealed that print and digital combined are increasing audiences for newspapers globally, but digital revenues are not keeping pace, posing a risk for newspaper businesses and the societies they serve.

 

“Unless we crack the revenue issue, and provide sufficient funds so that newspapers can fulfill their societal role, democracy will inevitably be weakened,” said Larry Kilman, Secretary General of WAN-IFRA, who presented the survey to 1,000 publishers, chief editors and other senior newspaper executives at the 66th World Newspaper Congress, 21st World Editors Forum and 24th World Advertising Forum in Turin, Italy.

 

“The role that newspapers play in society cannot be underestimated, and has never been more crucial,” he said. “If newspaper companies cannot produce sufficient revenues from digital, if they cannot produce exciting, engaging offerings for both readers and advertisers, they are destined to offer mediocre products with nothing to differentiate them from the mass of faux news. Finding the sustainable business models for digital news media is not only important for your businesses, but for the future health of debate in democratic society.”

 

The other facets revealed at the global summit meetings of the world’s press include:

– Print circulation increased +2 per cent globally in 2013 from a year earlier but declined by -2 per cent over five years. Around 2.5 billion people around the world read newspapers in print and 800 million on digital platforms.

 

– Print circulation continues to rise in countries with a growing middle class and relatively low broadband penetration, but long-term structural declines in print circulation continue in mature markets as audiences shift their focus from print to digital. Circulation rose +1.45 per cent in Asia in 2013 from a year earlier and +2.56 per cent in Latin America; it fell -5.29 per cent in North America, -9.94 per cent in Australia and Oceania, -5.20 percent in Europe and -1 per cent in the Middle East and Africa.

 

– Over five years, newspaper circulation rose +6.67 per cent in Asia, +6.26 per cent in Latin America and +7.5 per cent in the Middle East and Africa; it fell -10.25 per cent in North America; -19.59 per cent in Australia and Oceania; and -23.02 per cent in Europe.

 

– Print advertising worldwide declined -6 per cent in 2013 from a year earlier and declined -13 per cent over five years. Digital advertising for newspapers increased +11 per cent in 2013 and +47 per cent over five years, but remains a relatively small part of overall internet advertising. Much of internet advertising revenue goes to only a handful of companies, and most of it goes to Google.

 

– Print newspaper advertising increased +3.9 per cent in Latin America in 2013 compared with a year earlier, but fell in all other regions: -3.2 percent in Asia and the Pacific, -8.7 percent in North America, -8.2 per cent in Europe; and -1.8 per cent in the Middle East and Africa.

 

Over five years, print newspaper advertising increased +3.3 per cent in Asia and the Pacific, +49.9 per cent in Latin America. It declined -29.6 per cent in North America, -17.9 per cent in Europe, and -21.1 percent in the Middle East and Africa.

 

– While digital advertising continues to grow, it still represents a small part of overall newspaper revenue. Globally, 93 per cent of all newspaper revenues continue to come from print.

 

– Global newspaper publishing revenues from print circulation and advertising were stable year-on-year at US$163bn in 2013. But that figure is down from US$187bn in 2008.

 

– Paid digital circulation increased 60 per cent last year and rose more than 2,000 per cent over the last five years, albeit from a very low starting point.

 

The World Press Trends survey includes data from more than 70 countries, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the global industry’s value. The data is compiled through an enormous undertaking by dozens of national newspaper and news media associations and generous support from global data suppliers: Zenith Optimedia, IPSOS, ComScore, RAM and the ITU.

 

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