It’s long been the opinion of TheMediaBriefing that publishers who rely too heavily on their print revenue are likely to be those hardest hit as their audience migrates online, taking away both circulation and ad revenue with them. Yet according to Ovum‘s new Digital Consumer Publishing Forecast, which quantifies the prospects for the global consumer publishing industry in the next five years, the resilience of print, despite the growth of mobile and digital consumption, may still be underestimated.
Charlotte Miller is an analyst in Ovum’s Digital Media practice. Writing for TheMediaBriefing, she explains that “At an aggregated level, combining revenues from the newspaper, book, and magazine industries across more than 50 markets worldwide, we forecast that just 24% of revenue will come from digital in 2020, up from 14% in 2015.” That figure varies across territories, of course, and breaks down as follows:
At the Westminster Media Forum’s seminar on “The future of news: partnerships, engagement and diversity”, key industry figures from the BBC, the Guardian, Local World, the NUJ and Google among others debated what the form of news is likely to be in the coming years. The discussion spanned the devaluation of journalism, collaborations between companies and threats to the ecosystem.
But with such a wide-ranging issue, it’s tricky to identify what the real threats to journalism are likely to be. After all, for all the talk of ‘clickbait’ and celebrity gossip devaluing the practice of journalism, a threat to the business models of the companies that employ journalists is just as big a threat. And for media companies looking to innovate their way out of trouble, it’s worth remembering that innovation is easier said than done.
Madhav Chinnappa is head of strategic relations, news and publishers for Google EMEA. He said: “I must admit, personally, when I look across the news ecosystem I’m not sure I see a lot of innovation. I think there are a few reasons why innovation is hard, and it really boils down to that one simple point. It’s hard to define what innovation is. What’s innovative for a small news organisation is not going to be innovative for a BBC or Sky.”
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