Global newspaper revenue down but likely to stabilise says new report

Global newspaper revenue fell by more than 12 per cent over the last four years, according to new research.

The figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that global newspaper revenue totalled $164bn in 2012, down from $187bn in 2008. But the accountancy firm predicted that revenue would stabilise and remain at the same level through to 2017.

Although newspaper revenues will remain largely flat on a global scale, the Indian newspaper market is expected to grow by 10 per cent every year and rise to become the sixth-largest newspaper market by 2017.

Meanwhile, the global magazine market has proved resilient and is predicted to grow from $81.9bn in 2012 to reach $83.3bn in 2017, although this represents a compound annual growth of less than 1 per cent.

The figures come from PwC’s latest annual update on the outlook for the global entertainment and media markets. It predicted that the UK’s overall entertainment and media market will grow by £11.5bn to £65.5bn in 2017.

PwC reported that growth will be driven by digital revenues, as the industry adapts to the rise of digital platforms. Phil Stokes, head of UK entertainment & media at PwC, said: 

“While profitable growth is difficult to achieve in the current climate, digital technology has plenty of potential to help and entertainment and media businesses have raised their game in agility and customer understanding.

“Digital technologies are pervasive and, as a consequence, we believe it’s wrong to say that companies need ‘a digital strategy’: companies need a business strategy that’s fit for the digital age.”

PwC predicts that digital revenues will account for 1 per cent of global newspaper revenues by 2017, up from 5 per cent in 2012, and will account for 16 per cent of total magazine industry revenues by 2017, up from less than 9 per cent in 2013.

PwC also emphasised the growing significance of consumer spending and urged newspaper brands to focus on monetising digital platforms, predicting that paywalls will become the norm.

The report noted the potential of smartphones and tablet computers as a new platform for access to entertainment and media content.

Stokes said: “Across the world, consumers’ access to entertainment and media content and experiences is being driven to new heights by our ever increasing access to the internet and the explosive growth in ownership of smart devices.” 

Stokes also predicted “a bright outlook” for innovative companies, saying: “Companies which can attract and retain the right workforce and which innovate in their products and the way they deliver them will survive and thrive. These companies, with real leadership, will remain relevant and for them, the outlook is bright.”

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