REVENUES SUMMARY: As advertising spend follows news users to mobile (and tech giants), total global revenues for publishers dipped by 3% to US$123 billion in 2018. This trend is expected to stabilise through 2019 as climbing digital reader revenues offset some losses in other areas.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLISHERS: Continue developing reader revenues through trusted, indispensable (mobile) news services and content, alongside efforts to diversify revenue streams beyond circulation and advertising.
RISKS: Over reliance on traditional income streams (advertising and print sales) and channels (including desktop websites) can undermine long-term sustainability, while continued cost cutting can deplete resources needed to deliver acceptable customer value. Efforts to gain market penetration by cutting subscription prices may undermine efforts to offset advertising losses by growing reader revenues.
WAN-IFRA REPORT, WORLD PRESS TRENDS 2019: Changing composition of revenues and growth rates of all components Growth in digital revenue continues to counter some of the declines in print that have led to the contraction of total industry revenues during the past five years. This broad trend is forecast to continue into 2019. The audience revenue picture is one of light and shade. Digital subscription income jumped 11% in the year 2018, while there was a 3% decline in print circulation revenues. This combination led to a marginal year-on-year downturn of just over one percentage point with an estimated $66.2 billion earned worldwide from print and digital subscriptions. Advertising income was even more challenging. Print newspapers’ share of global advertising spend has slumped about 7% during the past year, though adspend on digital news products increased slightly (0.5%), according to an analysis of data from Zenith. The estimated $56.9 billion news publishers earned from print and digital advertising in 2018 was down 5% year on year. This is because the 5% rise in digital advertising income was overshadowed by a 7% drop in revenue from print advertising, which still brings in roughly 77 percent of publishers’s ad revenue. Source: WPT analysis of PwC (Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019 - 2023)
Comparison of revenues
- $66 BN AUDIENCE REVENUES IN 2018 $57 BN ADVERTISING REVENUES IN 2018 WAN-IFRA REPORT 25 World Press Trends 2019.
Insights into print and digital The revenue gap between print and digital is still prominent, as print still delivers the overwhelmingly largest share of income for the majority of news publishers. However, digital has been persistently fighting for its place and is projected to account for 14.5% of total revenues in 2019, while print gradually declines. The increase of paying print audiences in Asia Pacific during the past five years has buoyed overall newspaper audience numbers, despite declines in other markets. These trends are forecast to level off in 2019 with slow downs in both growth in Asia Pacific and declines in Western Europe and the Americas.
Source: WPT analysis of PwC (Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019 – 2023
Regional print audience trends
- THE INCREASE OF PAYING PRINT AUDIENCES IN ASIA PACIFIC DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS HAS BUOYED OVERALL NEWSPAPER AUDIENCE NUMBERS WAN-IFRA REPORT 26 World Press Trends 2019. Paid digital news subscriptions are seeing a more steady growth compared to the booming increase for the past 5 years – possibly because of the massive efforts and established business during that time, therefore continued high rates of growth in those established markets is proving a challenge, especially combined with a bit of subscription fatigue. As the subscription economy grows worldwide, the squeeze comes on consumers to choose from the plethora of content and entertainment. That said, the growth rate in 2019 is expected to continue. Source: WPT analysis of PwC (Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019 - 2023) Regional digital audience trends
- 2019 Print audience (projected) B Source: WPT analysis of PwC (Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019 - 2023) Asia is still leading the expansion. The scale of increases in this region is far more sizeable than other parts of the world with 31.3% more subscriptions counted from 2017 to 2018. None of the growing rates in the other regions exceeded 15% of the period. However, the Asia market is expected to cool down this year, with a forecasted growth rate in 2019 of just half of what it was the year before. The decrease is also predicted to show in other regions, apart from Europe, the Middle East & Africa where forecast growth is up slightly to 13% (from 12% in 2018). Print and digital revenues will continue to diverge, with digital reader revenue rising 105% during the past 5 years with a further 11% forecast for 2019.
Source: WPT analysis of PwC (Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019 - 2023) Revenue trends in comparison with 2014