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World press trends 2017: the audience-focused era arrives

The results of WAN-IFRA’s annual survey depict an industry that is increasingly building loyal audiences around its high-quality journalism, as the shift to reader-based revenue continues.

The World Press Trends survey includes data from more than 70 countries, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the global industry’s value.

The data is provided by dozens of national newspaper and news media associations, with additional information coming from global suppliers: Zenith, IPSOS, PwC and Chartbeat.

In its 2017 World Press Trends study, WAN-IFRA estimates that 56 percent of newspapers’ overall revenue came from circulation sales (print and digital) in 2016.

“The shift from advertising to reader-based revenue is reshaping the fundamentals of our industry,” said WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyrègne who presented the key findings from the global study at the 69th World News Media Congress and 24th World Editors Forum in Durban, South Africa.  

“We have entered a pivotal moment,” he continued, “and more than ever our focus needs to be on our audience and producing high-quality, engaging journalism.”

Trust is the new currency

Interestingly, this trend continues to emerge at a time when survey after survey reveals that people around the world are not only losing their trust in media, but societal institutions in general.

“The decline in trust is the biggest risk we face as an industry, and all our efforts must be with the aim of getting it back,” Mr. Peyrègne said. “We used to trade in attention. But trust is our new currency,” Mr. Peyrègne said. “Any decline in trust erodes the foundation of our business: credible, first-rate journalism.”

The audience-centric era

A fundamental shift in the newspaper business model took place two years ago, when reader revenue became the biggest source of revenue for news publishers.

Global digital circulation revenues grew by 28 percent from 2015 to 2016, and a full 300 per cent from 2012 to 2016, with the trend expected to continue.

Despite that, total global newspaper revenues fell 2.1 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, and are down 7.8 percent over the last five years.

Advertising revenues continue to decline in most markets, although there are notable exceptions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and rates of decline vary greatly between different markets.

  

ABOUT WORLD PRESS TRENDS

World Press Trends, the leading source of newspaper data and trends globally, has been published by WAN-IFRA since 1989. The data is compiled in an interactive database and in an annual report, both available to WAN-IFRA members without charge. For non-members,

WAN-IFRA offers the database by individual access, on an annual subscription basis, and IP access that allows companies, universities or libraries to provide access to any number of users. Full details can be found at http://www.wan-ifra.org/wpt.

ABOUT WAN-IFRA

WAN-IFRA is the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists across the world to operate free media, and provide its members with professional services to help their business prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in open societies. It derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 80 member publisher associations representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries.

More at www.wan-ifra.org

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