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Asociación Técnica de Diarios Latinoamericanos
Boletín Semanal junio 23, 2019

Los periódicos salvan sus números en 2018 gracias a la publicidad digital

Los 80 diarios asociados a AMI facturaron 673 millones de euros en 2018, un 1,4 % más que el año anterior. Pero deben agradecérselo a la facturación digital, que creció casi un 20 % hasta superar los 230 millones. El papel factura casi el doble, 443 millones de euros.

La transformación digital de los medios españoles continúa su lento camino. Según datos de la Asociación de Medios de Información (AMI) recogidos por 'El Español', los casi 80 diarios en papel asociados a este club facturaron 673,8 millones de euros en 2018, un 1,4 % más que el año anterior. Los ingresos del papel cayeron un 6 %, hasta los 443,1 millones de euros, mientras que los digitales crecieron un 18,3 %, hasta los 230,7 millones. El papel prácticamente duplica a lo digital en cuanto a ingresos, a pesar de su lenta caída y del rápido crecimiento de lo que se supone que será el futuro de los medios.

El 45 % de los ingresos -540,8 millones de euros- procede de la venta de ejemplares impresos, un negocio que cayó un 9,5 % en 2018, según datos de AMI. Es de esperar que en 2019 siga cayendo la venta de ejemplares, aunque podría compensarse con los planes para levantar muros de pago en las ediciones digitales, prevista para este mismo año.

Ingresos publicitarios en prensa de España en 2018

Si atendemos a los ingresos publicitarios, el diario que más facturó en 2018 fue 'El País', que logró ingresos por valor de 72,9 millones de euros, un 0,9 % más que el año anterior. El diario de Prisa prácticamente iguala sus ingresos tradicionales (36,9 millones) con los digitales (36,03 millones).

A cierta distancia se sitúa 'El Mundo', en segunda posición. El diario de Unidad Editorial ingresó 54,7 millones en 2018, un 13 % menos. También está bastante igualado en cuanto a ingresos publicitarios impresos (29,6 millones) y digitales (25,1 millones).

En tercera posición, 'La Vanguardia', con 47,7 millones facturados, un 5,3 % menos. En su caso, la facturación por publicidad en papel duplica a la digital (32,6 millones frente a 15,1 millones). Con diez millones menos facturados (37,5 millones) está 'ABC', quien creció un 2,1 % en 2018 y repartió sus ingresos entre los 21,3 millones del papel y los 16,1 del digital.

Cierran la lista 'La Razón', que facturó 34,4 millones (-5,1 %), y 'El Periódico', con 27,6 millones facturados por publicidad (-1,6 %). En ambos casos, la facturación por publicidad impresa supera ampliamente a la digital: 'La Razón' ingresa 29,2 millones vía papel y apenas 5,2 en lo digital, mientras que 'El Periódico' obtiene 21,4 millones en papel y 6,2 millones en digital. Son los que mayor reconversión necesitan, dado su amplio desequilibrio, aunque en el caso de 'La Razón' por ahora se justifica si se atiende a su perfil de audiencia, todavía ligado al quiosco. Es de esperar que 'El Periódico' revierta en parte esta situación tras su entrada en el catálogo Prensa Ibérica.

El estudio también presta atención al comportamiento de los dos principales diarios de información deportiva'Marca' facturó en 2018 algo más de 13 millones de euros vía papel y 29,4 millones en su edición digital. En total, su facturación ascendió a 42,4 millones de euros, un 14,5 % más. 'AS', por su parte, logró 6,9 millones en papel y 21,4 en digital; son 28,3 millones de euros en total, un 25,9 % más. Son los únicos que muestran un verdadero sorpasso de la publicidad digital a la impresa y los únicos que crecen a doble dígito, por lo que se erigen como modelos a seguir a la hora de transformarse en negocios en los que pesen más los ingresos digitales, a pesar de que los analistas del sector sitúan sus buenas cifras en el contexto del Mundial de Rusia.

Modelos digitales rentables se expanden a traves de Europa y Norte América

As income from advertising has dwindled, more publishers are increasing their efforts to boost revenues from readers. The past year saw several high-profile publications putting content behind paywalls: Wired, The New Statesman, Vanity Fair, New York magazine and Bloomberg all announced paid-content initiatives, and BuzzFeed started a quasi-membership programme for readers at $5/month.

Steffen Damborg, a digital transformation specialist, talks about the status and outlook of how paid content is moving forward, primarily in Europe and North America.

Elsewher The Financial Times has approximately 750,000 paid digital subscribers, while The New York Times already boasts more than 3 million, and The Guardian, is determined to break even this year based on an ongoing campaign for reader revenue that has thus far seen more than 1 million people supporting their journalism through contributions, memberships or subscriptions.

Speaking at the Digital Media India 2018 Conference, Damborg shed light on revenue streams for publishers and how reader revenue has seen a slight growth, while ad spend has plummeted.

Reader revenue in the USA and Europe has grown while ad spend has declined.

“The total growth rate of the publishing industry in the past five years, is at a -2 percent, whereas Facebook and Google are earning market shares. They take 89 percent of new ad spend in the digital space,” Damborg said.

This pattern differs from Asia, which still sees growing circulation.

Paywalls becoming the norm

By 2012, there were more publishers with a digital paywall than ones without one in the USA. Publishers in the European market too are increasingly putting content behind a paywall.

Implementation of a paywall is more dominant in small publishing houses than the big ones. “One does not have to be a big publisher to implement a digital paywall,” Damborg said.

In the USA the metered model dominates, while the majority of European publishers are using the freemium model. The trending paywall model, however, is a hybrid combining metered and freemium.

“Publishers need to rethink their business models. The most intrusive ads are ones that bring in the most money,” Damborg said.

In the aftermath of Facebook’s "show less content from publishers and brands" policy, publishers started noticing a decline in traffic from the social media giant, whereas clicks through Google increased. To combat the lack of traffic, media houses then increasingly began using push notifications.

“We have seen a huge traffic drop from Facebook. Most people have experienced a 30 percent reach drop ever since the social media giant implemented its ‘less content from publishers and brands’ policy, which is not bad because it forces publishers to work with their own brand and platform,” he said.

Facebook is looking to build a local section, which will give publishers an opportunity to be close with resident readers and get new possibilities on Facebook.

Facebook began testing its local news aggregator, ‘Today In’, in 400 small to medium sized cities in the USA in January 2018. With the help of Today In, iOS and Android users opt in to getting their local digests in their feed.

The section officially launched in the USA in November 2018 and also began testing in Australia.

“During Hurricane Florence, 17 first responder pages posted 73 local alerts, providing critical updates to people living in the path of the storm. The City of Charlotte Government is one of our first partners to test local alerts,” Anthea Watson Strong, the Product Manager for Local News and Community Information, said in a press release.Credit: Facebook

Younger readers subscribing to digital

The average age of a print subscriber in northern Europe is around 70 years, that of a weekend subscriber is 47 years, while a digital subscriber is 30 years old. “We see that the younger generation, at least in North America and Europe, is not reading print. They are willing-to-pay digital subscribers,”  Damborg said.

To start charging for content, one needs the right techstack. It takes years to work with technology and implement it correctly to be able for people to purchase paid content.

“When you start working with paid content on digital, you need to consider very seriously what kind of model are you going to choose, what is the frequency of your offering and what incentives are you working with. You also need to have a new go-to market strategy,” he said.

Damborg closed his presentation to by saying that publishers need to start looking at content as "free vs paid" instead of looking at a company as "digital vs print."

Estrategia ganadora de periódico de la India para lograr suscripciones digitales

India's Ananda Vikatan has a long and rich history in print, but the publication has also been very active online, and launched a digital subscription model fairly early on, which quickly proved itself successful. 

Ananda Vikatan was established in 1926 as a monthly publication. Over the years, it evolved into the Vikatan Group in the Tamil Nadu magazine industry. The Indian Readership Survey in 2017 saw Anada Vikatan as the second-largest circulated regional weekly.

In this interview, the group's Managing Director, Srinivasan Balasubramanian, tells us how the group forayed into the digital space more than 10 years ago, while still being profitable.

WAN-IFRA: Ananda Vikatan was India's second largest circulated magazine in 2017 and the largest circulated Tamil weekly magazine. When did you decide on digital subscription?

Srinivasan Balasubramanian: Ananda Vikatan boasts of a strong legacy in content creation, curation and credibility in the magazine industry for over 93 years.

In the late 1990s, during the early internet era, we forayed into the digital publishing space as an exploratory medium rather than as a subscription based one.

Our digital journey was fuelled by our desire to serve our loyal NRI readers whose copies were delayed in transit, hence becoming irrelevant in the ever-changing digital space.

Our content was free, but Vikatan was incurring substantial investments in infrastructure costs. To recover those costs, we decided on digital subscription in 2005 as an experiment. To our surprise, our operations turned profitable in a span of about 100 days.

Please break down for us the brand's subscription model, and the thought process behind its implementation and pricing.

Our magazine and e-books have been behind a paywall since 2005. Readers can purchase products for as low as Rs 15 ($ 0.21) for a single issue, to Rs 16999 ($ 239.36) for a lifetime subscription to all our products, except e-books.

Our highest-selling subscription product is the annual, all-magazine combo pack of 12 that includes access to archives since 2005. This product retails for Rs 1499 ($ 21.11) and sells for an average price of Rs 1249 ($ 17.59).

The thought process behind the pricing model is simple – we took the magazine pricing, deducted the trade commission, the paper and printing costs and selling overheads, and arrived at the mean content creation, curation and publishing cost.

How have your print readers responded to the paywall?

We have been operating on a freemium model where our readers, who fall under two groups, enjoy a limited amount of free content.

  • Traditional print readers – both domestic and Tamil diaspora – migrating online because of ease of access. Paywall is not a restriction for them.
  • New digital readers, who can be classified as ‘social scanners’ and ‘content discoverers.’ Social scanners are content skimmers who access free content across the internet. Content discoverers display strong brand connect and loyalty. They are willing to pay for curated content and go beyond the paywall.

Publications are increasingly putting long-form, investigative, exclusive content behind paywalls. Do you see hard news being monetised similarly in the future? Tell us about the content you put behind the paywall.

Vikatan’s storytelling abilities are a derivative of its strong magazine background, that is narrative, longform and often exclusive. We have evolved our own investigative brand of journalism through Junior Vikatan Magazine.

Our readers don’t come to us for breaking news. Our exclusivity, curation and credibility are the core values that drives Vikatan's journalistic philosophy.

Subscription is a compulsive step for loyal readers, both online and print. In this era of fake news and user generated content, online readers are slowly evolving from being passive consumers of junk to active consumers of credible content, and they are willing to pay for it.

We have been putting high quality long form content behind the paywall for a long time. We are now serving our readers with exclusive long form and interactive content. A plan to have more non-print content behind the paywall is in the works.

Media houses in India are facing declining advertising revenues. How do you think implementing a paywall has affected this?

On the contrary, our digital revenues – including pay and ad revenues – have been growing by a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent over the past four years, ever since we started our digital transformation journey.

We have advertisers who swear by the response and audience connect on our site. Several of our ad campaigns are response driven.

A paywall strategy for content is an equally compelling revenue model. Though not a substitute for declining ad revenues, it is a conscious move towards quality content and reinventing core journalistic ethos through credible content. I’m confident of news media finding alternate revenue sources to (or sans) ad revenues.

Paywalls can cut into the number of readers coming to the site and decrease the effectiveness of the advertising space. Do you agree? What would you say are some cons of implementing a paywall? 

Implementing a paywall is a balance that every media house learns to achieve through experience and experimentation. We have been practicing this for more than a decade.

Do you see mainstream media implementing the paywall soon?

I would love to see mainstream media follow our example. Business Standard is doing it; pure digital players such as The Ken and Bloomberg Quint have also been practicing it in India.

However, when I peer at the crystal ball, I would say, not soon. It is unfortunate that the greatest of risk takers and marketing genius that led to the outburst of the newspaper and the print revolution in India, are refraining from taking the plunge and pricing their content.

When Facebook, Google and YouTube are shoring up the bulk of potential ad money that flows through internet pipes, I am confident that a pay-to-read model will prevail.

If Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar can charge for premium ad free content, why can’t we?

What is the brand's revenue from print circulation? Could you give us comparative percentage of the last three years?

Anandha Vikatan boasted of the second-largest regional magazine readership in the Indian Readership Survey 2017, with a total readership of 2708 (000s) TR.

The percentage of print circulation revenue has remained relatively stable over these past years, even though the advertising revenue has, unfortunately, faced pressure.

Are paywalls a way to make up for lost print circulation?

Why would I make up for lost circulation? I am creating new readers online - on mobiles, on applications.

Digital, now, is a formidable part of our ecosystem, contributing (paywall and advertisements, together) 10 percent of our FY 18-19 topline. In three years, this number will be a third.

"Indians don’t pay for news," "India is not ready for paywall." How true are these phrases?

With an internet user base of 450 million and growing, Indians are adapting to a digital news consumption culture and will, I assume, pay for the value received.

The question is: Would we be willing to understand the desire of the customer value perception and able to consistently deliver it?

Con la experiencia en el impreso el periódico mumbai está trabajando con lo digital

Delegates at WAN-Ifra's Digital Media India event in Mumbai were mostly predisposed to the idea that they must find a replacement for print. But it took an outgoing print editor from Canada to ram home the message.

That editor was Michael Cooke, who has just completed nine years as the editor of the Toronto Star, the past five of which he has also toured Africa working pro-bono for the Canadian foundation Journalists For Human Rights.

He urged publishers to "lead from the front" on the challenges to journalism posed by social media and digital anarchy.

"They say that anger and hate spread faster than any other emotion ... and so that's lighting speed on social media ... as a leader you have to stand strong in front of this tsunami of poison and threats", he said.

While the future of digital was not clear, "the future of print is clear, and is not a very happy one."

He urged the audience to embrace digital and find ways to make money from it.

The eighth annual conference on February 19-20 and embraced WAN-Ifra's Newsroom Summit India, called on news publishers to play to their strength. More than 140 news media executives from 15 countries attended the event.

Among the smorgasbord of issues affecting the digital news media business covered during the two-day event were digital transformation, revenue strategies, advertising, fake news, audience engagement and artificial intelligence.

The opening session also included a panel discussion to tackle how media companies - rather than technology giants - could gain the larger share of the revenue pie. The session was chaired by managing director and chief executive of The Hindu Rajiv Lochan, with Jagran New Media chief executive Bharat Gupta, and Anant Goenka, executive director of the Express Group.

The message was that while the proportion of total revenue gained through digital publishing, it was growing and important. Lochan said digital accounted for less than five per cent at The Hindu, "we do it profitably.

"The Hindu e-paper has been behind a paywall ever since it was launched, and the brand quietly introduced a soft, optional paywall last week."

Jagran garners about three per cent of their revenue from digital. Within the digital ad pie, 60 per cent comes from display advertising "and that pie is increasing.

"How well we know our audience is where the digital journey begins," said Gupta. "Brands need to know how the audience is consuming content and what they want to consume.

"There is still more to garner from digital advertising. And, if time spent by the audience in our product is substantial, then we are ready for reader payment. At the moment, less than ten per cent of the audience fit in this."

He said Jagran was "investing deeply" in audience analytics and looking at how to target audiences to increase advertising efficiency. Targeting did not mean privacy invasion - "it simply means making advertising efficient and relevant," he said.

Gupta says the digital ecosystem "is going through what print went through" and believes there is not enough gravitation for language based eCPMs.

"It took 70-80 years for print to reach a threshold where it started enjoying advertising rates that were equivalent to the national dailies or English dailies. Digital, which is a much more measurable medium, is going through the same process."

A similar story was told by Indian Express executive director Anant Goenka, with digital revenue still shy of ten per cent, but a fast-growing number. "We have to know the audience and own that audience. And then sell them things that they would like to buy," he said.

He added that brand credibility was the strength of newsmedia, and that advertisers would respect this. Reader revenue would also follow, "if we find our content niche".

Goenka remarked that the Indian news media was "letting the wind blow its sails" rather than carving its own path.

"In the long run, a truly sustainable news media set up needs to take the pressure on the business model out of the advertiser to the reader," he said. "That is the only way to future-proof oneself."

Indian Express had clocked 130 million unique visitors this year, with hopes its investigative journalism would set it apart from other brands and help gain a dedicated audience, eventually willing to pay for quality content.

"We have a long way to go - in print and digital - in advertising and subscription that we don't have the mental space for right now," he said. But he added that "throwing things at the wall" to see what sticks was an inefficient approach.

"The fact that Apple News has failed twice shows every day journalism is tough. The fact that we have been dealing with journalistic content on a daily basis has created an incredible amount of goodwill and an irreplaceable brand."

He says it is "too early to dream" that it will one day replace print revenue. "For content to commerce to be successful, we need to own that particular audience.

I doubt IE could ever compete with a major apparel e-commerce site."

The Newsroom Summit India programme covered classic journalism challenges such as tackling need vs. want dilemma, social media impact on journalism, combatting fake news and the mobile-first news strategy. The highlight of a Newsroom Summit India discussion on the first day was a panel on 'gender parity in newsroom' discussing how gender friendly newsrooms are and how to improve the current situation.

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