WAN-IFRA World Press Trends Update: Print, digital combining for increased readership

TURIN, Italy — WAN-Ifra’s 66th annual World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum kicked off here today, with 1,000 publishers, editors, CEOs and other executives in attendance.
Secretary General Larry Kilman shared information with attendees from WAN-Ifra’s latest World Press Trends Update on circulation, advertising and digital newspaper performance.

Print is still main source of revenues

Globally, Kilman said 93 percent of all newspaper revenue still comes from print, and print will continue to be a major source for many years. In 2013, global print circulation reached 534 million copies daily, representing a 2 percent increase over 2012, and a decline of 2 percent from 2009.
Kilman said approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide read print newspapers and 800 million read newspapers on digital platforms, with print and digital combinations increasing audiences globally.
“The newspaper industry’s value — $163 billion annually from circulation sales and advertising — is larger than that of the book publishing industry, or the film industry or the music industry,” he said.
That figure was stable from 2012 to 2013, but is down from $187 billion in 2008, Kilman added.

Digital revenues showing 60% year-on-year growth

Paid digital circulation is gaining traction, too, according to the report, which cites a 60 percent increase in one year and more than a 2000 percent jump over five years.
“There is an increasing willingness by the public to pay for newspaper content on digital platforms.”
Digital advertising is also following suit, with an 22 percent rise in 2013 from a year earlier and an increase of 47 percent over five years. Kilman pointed out though, that digital advertising still accounts for only a small portion of overall Internet advertising, and that the bulk of revenue goes to a handful of companies, mostly Google.
“While print and digital combined are increasing audiences for newspapers globally, the sad fact is that digital revenues are not keeping pace, posing a risk for newspaper businesses and the societies they serve,” he said. “Finding the revenues necessary to maintain adequate reporting teams is the main challenge for newspapers in the digital age.”

Visit Twipe at booth 20 on the World Newspaper Congress in Torino.