It’s ‘all’ about reader revenues, say Innovation Report editors


Without generating revenues directly from readers, journalism is doomed, write the editors of FIPP and Innovation Media Consulting’s Innovation World Report in their editors’ letter for the 2018/19 edition.

With digital advertising not media’s saving grace it once – from when most the industry ‘committed the sin’ of putting all of their content online for free – promised to be, “it will never support our journalism,” John Wilpers and Juan Señor write. “Only journalism worth paying for will save journalism.”

Innovation World Report 2018-2019 launches on 19 March at Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin. It is the 9th edition of the highly popular annual report. Save 15% on the cover price by pre-ordering your copies now, before 16 March.

In their editors’ letter Wilpers and Señor write, “The future of magazine media has much potential… but without the support for the folks for whom we create all this great content, well, it will be increasingly unprofitable, and, ultimately, unsustainable.”

They emphasise that “reader revenue is not simply subscriptions,” but includes a diverse portfolio of revenue streams from readers, from commerce to events and newer media formats. However, of subscriptions they say, “one of the pleasant discoveries after years of committing the media ‘original sin’ (putting content online for free) is that readers are finally willing to pay for our content … and not necessarily at bargain basement prices.


“The very success of the internet – the massive tsunami of free information – has, in the end, actually worked against the web. Of all the free information out there, what’s trustworthy? Are the authors really experts, or are they poseurs? What is fake news? What is real?”

Quoting The Economist’s (a FIPP member) Michael Brunt, speaking at the FIPP World Congress in October last year, they explain how it offers a trusted filter on world affairs in a “finish-able package” which is the “anti-dote to information overload.” This creates value, with The Economist positioned as a “premium product that costs three to four times more than other similar publications but readers are happy to pay for it.”

They also reference Meredith (also a FIPP member) executive chairman Steve Lacy telling The Wall Street Journal, “The beauty of millennials is that they are very comfortable buying anything online and using a credit or debit card. “Our interface with them is the credit card and auto renewal. It has to be the right content, and it has to be served to them the way they want it. But they’ll pay for it.”

 Innovation 2018-2019 features:

  • Distributed content/social media: It’s finally time to end the Facebook addiction. After the so-called ‘Facebook Apocalypse,’ media companies will actually be better off in the long run
  • Media tech: The top six media technologies you need to know about
  • Monetisation: Reader revenue, and also a bevy of other sources to make you as close to bullet-proof as possible
  • Offbeat: The wild, the wacky and the wonderful (digital isn’t the only place where innovation is happening!)
  • New digital narratives: Media companies who employ the best storytelling tools will win audiences; everyone else will shrivel and many will die
  • Print: Properly positioned (think premier, subscription-based publications), print can drive significant revenue for a long time to come

You can download the complete editors’ letter here and pre-order your copy before 16 March to get 15% off the cover price, here. The Innovation in Magazine Media 2018-2019 World Report is written for FIPP every year by Innovation Media Consulting Group — a global consultancy helping publishers succeed in the digital age. The report author is John Wilpers, senior director USA of Innovation Media Consulting, and it is edited by Juan Señor, senior partner.

Join the editors of the Innovation Report at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, 19-20 March 2018, for a whirlwind tour of the newest, brightest and most innovative stories from around the world.

Register now to save on the early bird rate which ends 13 March.

Invite the editors to present to you and your colleagues. Contact Helen Bland at FIPP and we’ll put you in touch and we can also help you with bulk discounts for book orders, added value for your participants. FIPP members receive a digital copy of the Innovation Report for free, and save more than 40% on print copies. More about FIPP membership benefits here.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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