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.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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