INMA Asia/Pacific summit highlights region’s growth strategies

Attracts 446 delegates from 37 countries

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INMA
Photo: Jeremy Kwok on Unsplash

Hong Kong (20 July 2022) – The relentless focus on growth strategies and how they are driving digital audience, advertising, and cultural development at Asia/Pacific media companies was the overarching theme of a two-day regional summit by the International News Media Association (INMA).

The INMA Asia/Pacific News Media Summit, held virtually from 14-15 July drew 446 delegates from 37 countries in only its second year. 

Supported by the Google News Initiative, Notix, Piano, and Protecmedia, the 14-15 July Asia/Pacific Summit featured case studies from the region’s top publishers – Australian Community Media, CommonWealth Magazine Group, Dong-A Ilbo, KG Media, Malaysiakini, Mediacorp, NZME, Philippine Daily Inquirer, South China Morning Post, and Tempo Digital. Karen Davila, news anchor for ABS-CBN in the Philippines, served as moderator. 

Key INMA summit takeaways included:

  • Winning strategies in subscriptions and engagement – INMA Readers First Initiative lead Greg Piechota explained how churn temporarily killed subscription growth of Asia/Pacific news publishers, even in the face of longer pandemic spikes than most of the world. CommonWealth Magazine Group in Taiwan shared four key steps that boosted their digital magazine subscriptions, and Australian Community Media explained how it increased article conversions by 64% while implementing a tool to help journalists see in real time how to improve their content.

  • Capability building for maximum resilience and growth – KG Media in Indonesia reluctantly raised subscription prices by 46% and found subscription sustainability with only a small decline in subscriptions. Philippine Daily Inquirer is focused on five priorities to reach a goal of 100,000 subscribers.

  • The changing role of the newsroom – INMA Newsroom Initiative lead Peter Bale stressed the power of creating high-value journalism and trust. For editorial to weave into the business of news, newsroom leaders need a place at every media company’s strategic table, he said. Malaysiakini listened to feedback from its editorial team and created new software to display relevant data in a simpler way for the newsroom. South China Morning Post created four teams that collaborate with each other and editorial – audience growth, data, product and tech, strategy, and special projects.

  • Different strategies for audience growth – The Dong-A Ilbo newsroom in South Korea embraced the media company’s goal to attract readers that too often found news via research engines. A task force of journalists helped draw more than 10,000 visitors to the web site’s content. Meanwhile, Mediacorp’s Today title in Singapore saw a 662% jump in content engagement when it invested in a TikTok strategy to reach younger readers.

  • Redefining digital advertising – NZME in New Zealand has seen a 120% improvement in CPMs by using data audience targeting and its in-house recommendation engine. Tempo Digital in Indonesia created a fact-checking method to filter out fake and misleading advertising content, seeing subscription growth as a result.

INMA added expertise and insights around subscription strategies, the state of the global news industry, and integrating newsrooms into the business of news with a keynote by the association’s global chief executive officer, Earl J Wilkinson.

“We’ve seen this summit become a big draw for Asia/Pacific news media companies, as INMA is able to bring global insights fused with regional best practices and case studies to the region,” said Madhavi Sekhri, producer of the INMA Asia/Pacific summit. “The focus on the business side of the news industry and a fresh focus on bringing newsrooms into the business really resonated with our attendees.” 

Registrants received access to the livestream, along with all recordings and presentations associated with the summit.

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue. The INMA community consists of over 20,000 members at 900+ news media companies in 83 countries. INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, an unparalleled archive of best practices, and strategic initiatives focused on digital subscriptions, smart data, product, advertising, and newsrooms. 

Coverage of the INMA Asia/Pacific News Media Summit may be found at INMA.org

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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