Standard newsprint and trust drives the newspaper market across the globe

Standard newsprint and trust drives  the newspaper market across the globe
Anu Ahola

The demand for standard newsprint is rising and the powerful and responsible journey of newspapers around the globe is seen declining. Nevertheless, print remains one of the most trusted product. It is one of the finest tools for direct marketing. As stated by Anu Ahola, senior vice president, UPM, Germany during her Wan-Ifra 2017 session on ‘Improved Print Products and Distribution Models.’

According to her, change in the media world is change in the paper world. The trend is declining especially in the newsprint. In the US, the decline started around the year 2000, in Europe around 2007, and there was a drop in growth in Asia and the Middle East as well. In the western markets, the local papers have not been able to take off in this situation.

Online advertising spends
Sharing her views on online advertising spend, Ahola said that paper is driven by advertising expenditure and the trend in Asia-Pacific is the internet. China has reached an all new level of internet advertising. Around 60% of the mass media spends accounts to online media whereas in India, digitization has begun reaching out to 10% of media spends in the online medium.

Demand for paper
Considering spends on newsprint, the demand for paper can be seen following the development in the newspaper publishing. Also the improved newsprint has shown moderate growth since 2015. In Europe, the last two years witnessed more demand in paper due to paper-based target marketing. According to Ahola, “In Europe, we receive the same demand for papers in direct marketing as compared to what we receive for magazines and newspaper publishing together. Coming to stats, it will be 11 million tons for direct marketing and 6 million tons each for both newspaper and magazine publishing. Interestingly, paper-based direct marketing has not been declining to the extent to which publishing arena has been declining. In fact, the demand for newsprint is driven by the direct marketing use. We have also started seeing the biggest share of standard newsprint used in the share of direct marketing.”

Sharing her views on marketing trends, Ahola said, “In terms of impact of marketing material, direct marketing is quite efficient as it creates an effect of reinforcement through products; for instance, catalogs collected and stored by people at home is comparatively better than the reach of the internet, which only offers you a glimpse of your product while you are online. That’s the beauty of direct marketing and paper.”

Pulp, paper and printing is better
Paper is a recyclable product and can be recycled up to 65% globally; in Europe, some have even managed to reach 74%. The ICT industry, on the other hand, generates 40 million tons of waste every year, of which only 20-25 % is recyclable.

Paper is trustworthy
In a recent study conducted in North America, people voted for newsprint as a trustworthy medium of news. World over the regular cash flow of publishers is coming from print. Citing an example of how the printing industry is evolving, Ahola said, “A chef from Netherlands had a small business who gave a small supplement with the daily newspaper which later became more popular and was developed into a magazine, thus lending it a longer shelf life and a finite product.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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