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World Press Trends report 2017: Trust is the new currency for success

At a time when trust in traditional media is perhaps at an all-time low, ironically, it is the crucial factor underpinning radical change and future success in the news industry, according to the just-published World Press Trends 2017 report.

Author: News Desk

Posted on: 13 October 2017 08:27

World Press Trends report 2017: Trust is the new currency for success

Vincent Peyrègne: "The decline in trust is the biggest risk we face as an industry, and all our efforts must be with the aim of getting it back."

The report, published by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) on the occasion of IFRA/DCX Expo in Berlin, analyses the data collected from WAN-IFRA’s annual survey of more than 70 countries, in addition to the insights and data from its global data partners.

Two years ago was a watershed moment in the news media industry when a fundamental shift in the business model took place: reader revenue became the biggest source of revenue for news publishers. This year’s survey re-enforces that trend as 56 percent of newspapers’ overall revenue came from circulation sales (print and digital) in 2016.

And the driving force in that trend toward building loyal audiences with high-quality journalism is no doubt trust, the report finds.

“The decline in trust is the biggest risk we face as an industry, and all our efforts must be with the aim of getting it back,” Mr Peyrègne said. “We used to trade in attention. But trust is our new currency,” Mr Peyrègne said. “Any decline in trust erodes the foundation of our business: credible, first-rate journalism.”

WAN-IFRA’s report is focused on three themes: trust, followed by “from reach to relationships” and “advertising rebooted,” featuring the global and regional data and insights that have come to be expected in the annual report. But this year it features new traffic insights from global data partner Chartbeat.

Here are some of the findings to consider:

  • Global digital circulation revenues grew by 28 percent (YoY), and a full 300 percent from 2012- 2016, with the trend expected to continue.
  • Reader revenue now makes up about 30 percent of total digital revenue.
  • Despite that, total global newspaper revenues fell 2.1 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, and are down 7.8 percent over the last five years.
  • Print still makes up the vast majority of that audience revenue, and continues to grow – up by over 3 percent over the past 5 years.
  • We estimate that in 2016, print’s share of total revenues was 91.6 percent, down from 95.1 percent in 2012.
  • Print advertising revenue continued its decline, 8 percent over the previous period and down 26.8 percent over the past five years.
  • Digital advertising grew by 5% from 2015 to 2016, highlighting the ongoing challenge publishers face to generate not just more digital revenues but also new revenue streams to offset print losses.

Despite the increasing focus on reader revenue and the overwhelming domination of digital advertising by Internet giants, publishers have opportunities to carve out more of the ad pie by forming alliances and leveraging their high-quality brand environments.

WAN-IFRA’s global data partners include Zenith, Ipsos, Chartbeat and PwC, national associations and contributors. The report is also supported by technology partner, CCI.

Links / further reading: The report is available for download (free to WAN-IFRA members; charge for non-members).

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