World Press Trends 2018 report: Measuring the value of trust

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WAN-IFRA

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.

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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