Newspapers must improve digital offer

Newspapers saw a 2% rise in global circulation last year and benefitted from increased digital advertising of 11% but, with print ad revenues falling, they need to raise revenue and user engagement on digital platforms, the latest World Press Trends report has warned.

Compiled by the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers(WAN-IFRA), the survey was presented to 1,000 publishers and senior newspaper executives at the 66th World Newspaper Congress in Turin, Italy.

It revealed global newspaper revenues held steady at $163bn in 2013, buoyed by circulation and advertising growth in emerging markets, but ongoing declines in mature markets prompted WAN-IFRA to urge publishers to increase their efforts to improve their digital offerings for audiences.

Larry Kilman, secretary general of WAN-IFRA, said that if newspapers did not produce sufficient revenues from digital, then this would not just damage their businesses but also risk weakening democracy itself.

“Unless we crack the revenue issue, and provide sufficient funds so that newspapers can fulfil their societal role, democracy will inevitably be weakened,” he said.

Even though digital advertising grew 11% last year – and 47% over five years – it still made up only 7% of all newspaper revenues and a large proportion went to Google and a handful of other media companies.

Another major problem, the report found, was that newspapers accounted for only 6% of total internet visits and 0.8% of page views despite 46% of total digital users visiting newspaper websites.

Kilman welcomed measures the industry has undertaken to improve its digital engagement – such as providing incentives through database marketing and improving site navigation – but called for more exchange of ideas and inspiration.

“There is growing understanding by the public that you get what you pay for, and an increased willingness to pay for newspaper content on digital platforms,” he said.

The outlook for print advertising remained unpromising, the report indicated, with overall print advertising declining -6% in 2013 and all regions, apart from Latin America, recording declines in print newspaper advertising.

Print newspaper advertising fell -8.7% in North America, -8.2% in Europe, -3.2% in Asia-Pacific and -1.8% in Middle East and Africa.

Elsewhere, the report found newspapers made up 16.9% of global advertising revenues compared with television’s 40.1% share, the internet (20.7%), magazines (7.9%), outdoor (7%), radio (6.9%) and cinema (0.5%).

Data sourced from WAN-IFRA ; additional content by Warc staff


About Framework Marketing Group

Framework Marketing Group has access to and is able to provide a range of co-ordinated creative thinkers…as and when you need them. It’s a marketing communications company with a toolbox of resources able to be used on an “on-demand” basis. The focus is on communication tools that evaluate brand strategies and interpret consumer behaviour to ensure a consistent and practical brand communications programme. Specifically: 1. Build strategic marketing plans: Understanding market data so strategic marketing plans have practical outcomes and communications to target markets are effective. 2. Communication audits From analysis of all messages – understand how customers really think and then recommend improvements to messages and media channel selection 3. Brand evaluations Establish how robust the brand equity is with each target market so communications to them is relevant 4. Integrate all communication channels Recommend an effective mix of communication channels to achieve economies of scale timing and content compatibility 5. Interpret market research Understand and fix gaps in market knowledge for consumers, customers and staff 6. Sales strategies Develop sales strategies from a foundation of core marketing platforms so all communications to market are complementary to each other
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