The impact of trust on the performance of news and the revenues of news media companies worldwide is undeniable, according to the findings of WAN-IFRA’s annual World Press Trends report.
The report analyzes the data collected from WAN-IFRA’s annual survey of more than 70 countries, in addition to the insights and data from its global partners, including ZenithOptimedia, IPSOS, PwC, and Chartbeat.
“For the press, securing a trusted relationship with its audience is not only an economic imperative but also a social and democratic obligation,” said Vincent Peyrègne, chief executive officer of WAN-IFRA. “This year’s World Press Trends analysis shows that a lack of trust can cost publishers where it hurts most – with their audiences and advertisers, therefore impacting revenues. And, perhaps more profoundly, it is potentially costing them a central and pivotal role in their communities and society at large.”
This year’s analysis was conducted by Dr. François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation at the Media Innovation Studio, University of Central Lancashire, Dr. Coral Milburn-Curtis, Associate Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and Prof. Castulus Kolo, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Munich (Germany).
In addition to the significant statistical evidence that trust impacts revenues, World Press Trends reports on the key performance indicators from 2017. Here are some of the findings:
Trust in media may be at an all-time low but trust in journalists and quality journalism is on the rise, particularly compared to platforms.
Publishers’ primary revenue streams face increasing pressure, while digital reader revenue continues to grow.
Industry overall revenue (primary revenue streams) contracted by 1,8% (YoY 2016-2017), in large part due to the continued decline in print revenues which still make up about 90% of publishers’ revenues.
Publishers continue to turn their focus to a more user-, consumer-centric business model, as evidenced by audience revenues of US$ 87 billion compared to US$ 63 billion from advertising.
While print advertising continues to tumble (double digits in many western countries) and digital advertising growth remains slow, those revenues still make up nearly 42% of publishers overall revenue.
Despite the turmoil in digital advertising, total global ad spend continues to grow and to compete with tech giants (and pool resources and brand prestige), publishers are increasingly forming ad alliances all over the world.
Users are more likely to land directly on publishers sites (primarily from mobile) than they are to arrive there from social. But dark social (newsletters, etc.) are helping this direct relationship.
Despite print’s struggles through much of the world, recent research shows that time spent with print vs. digital is a different story.
Publishers have indeed accelerated innovation in the pursuit of digital transformation, but the lingering question is: Is it quickly enough?
A publisher’s ability to transform in this light depends on a number of regional, national, social, political factors.
WAN-IFRA Members can download the report supported this year by Protecmedia for free (www.wan-ifra.org/wpt_report_2018); non-members can purchase the report.