Wan-Ifra announces program for Table Stakes Europe

Publishers aim to make digital business more sustainable

Wan-Ifra announces program for Table Stakes Europe

Wan-Ifra recently announced the names of 24 publishers participating in its Table Stakes Europe initiative for the coming year. The program is said to be growing fast, almost doubling from the original 14 participants in 2019/20 and replicating the rapid growth of the same program in the United States.

A twelve-month performance-driven change management initiative, the coaching program asks each participant to select a challenge relating to making their digital business more sustainable – doubling the number of digital subscribers or creating new digital products for specific audiences.

Table Stakes Europe is supported by the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Program. The program will be led once again by Table Stakes architect Doug Smith, with an expanded team of five coaches – with Pepe Cerezo and Valérie Arnould joining the team including Alexandra Borchardt, Stéphane Mayoux and Nick Tjaardstra. Expert advisors and fellow publishers will join them during the 10-12 month duration of the program.

Read our article on the first edition of Table Stakes Europe here

A transformation and coaching program for regional and local news publishers, Table Stakes Europe uses a challenge-centric, performance-and-accountability change methodology to identify and then close shortfalls against seven core performance challenges, the ‘Table Stakes’. The so-called ‘table stakes’ is an expression for the money needed to have a seat at the table in a poker game. The program builds upon the successful track record of an initiative designed and led by Doug Smith since 2015. In the United States, “Table Stakes” is a project of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative.

We’re looking forward to working with all of the impressive news enterprises in this next round of Table Stakes Europe,” said Doug Smith.

Table Stakes Europe is a game-changer which had a positive impact on all the news organizations participating in the first round. We are thrilled to double the number of participants in this second year and widen the benefits of the program for the European press,” said Vincent Peyrègne, chief executive officer Wan-Ifra.

The feedback from participating publishers after the first round of Table Stakes Europe has been excellent in showing the importance of understanding your audience. Table Stakes framework delivered tangible and actionable results. We are really excited to see this strong list of 24 European publishers starting the new round,” said Eero Korhonen, head of news & publishers at Google.

The results from round 1 publishers were impressive, with some doubling digital subscriptions and making stretch targets for more growth, others increasing the number of registrations or seeing six-fold increases in engagement with content verticals.

Click here to read an interview with Andreas Müller, chief executive officer of Medienhaus Aachen in Germany, who participated in the 2019/20 program.

Wan-Ifra is the World Association of News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists and publishers around the world to operate independent media. Wan-Ifra provides its members with expertise and services to innovate and prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. With formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, it derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 80 national association members representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries.

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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