Print Media: Time for transformation
In 2013, Deloitte predicts that newspapers will remain pervasive and will continue to form part of the fabric of Indian landscape. Today, more people read newspapers than ever before, thanks to the multi-mediums in which it is available. This has prompted publishers to find more ways to match that growth with revenues from other avenues, such as, the digital platform.
According to available data, more than half of the world’s adult population reads a newspaper. More than 2.5 billion read the print edition and over 600 million read the digital edition. This represents more readers than total global users of the internet.20
In India, new newspapers being published will continue to grow at around 6% every year. While circulation numbers continue to grow across all editions of newspapers, this is more evident in the regional editions, which seem to have a very strong brand following. While the ‘instant news’ era of 24 hour news channels on television has had its impact on the circulation numbers of newspapers, it is evident that India still ‘wakes-up’ with a cup of tea and the newspaper. The highest circulated daily in India still remains a regional language newspaper.21 At the national level, the English language dailies rule.
A trend that is picking-up is that of the digital edition of newspapers. Though impacted by bandwidth challenges, changing lifestyles, particularly in metro cities has led to more people being ‘on-the-move’ and wanting to catch-up with the latest on their tablets or handhelds. More applications (apps) are predicted for the print media, which will help the publishers to monetise digital content. Incorporating premium content on the digital platform is another strategy being implemented by the publishers. Since the future is in digital content, the business parameters of the publishing world (which includes magazines) are poised for a major change.
Magazines on the other hand could have a bumpy road ahead. In general, the circulation of national weeklies/monthlies is on the decline due to the exposure of similar content on television and on other mediums. Here too, publishers are exploring innovative means to monetise digital content by publishing digital paid editions of the magazines with additional exclusive content bundled in. This trend could take-off for the publishers, on the back of the roll out of the broadband internet network in the country. This has already started by way of roll-out of the 3G mobile networks, which is now preferred by the youth and is an enabler for the digital publishing content – both for newspapers and magazines.
As the printing industry rejuvenates itself, the focus will be on making investments in digital printing, which represents a market growth opportunity for technology vendors, as well as, users. Projections indicate that while digital monochrome will decline, the retail value of digital color will experience a CAGR of 5.4% between 2010 and 2015.22
In the recent Deloitte Media Democracy Survey, when respondent was asked ‘When you encounter advertising in the various media, which three forms of media have the greatest influence on your buying decision?’ Almost 64% identified television as the primary influencer and about 63% mentioned newspapers as the next influencer.23 This trend, although declining as far as the print media is concerned, is likely to stay around for the next few years. The pricing of newspapers is still advantageous to the reader as it does not pinch the pocket and delivers the needed ‘infotainment’ in a format familiar to the user.