Local Newspaper Economics


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Good slides from Douglas McCabe of Enders Analyis presented to #cabinet or c&bnet event on hyperlocal news hosted by Sion simon MP in London UK. William Perrin and Rachel Sterne co-chaired

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Local Newspaper Economics

  1. 1. Local media, local news The newspaper perspective
  2. 2. [Source: ABC] Newspaper consumption trends Year-on-year change in daily newspaper purchases (%) Regional newspaper circulation declines are steeper than for national titles
  3. 3. Time spent: print versus online [Source: National Readership Survey and comScore] <ul><li>Average newspaper reader spends 30 minutes per day </li></ul><ul><li>Average online news user spends 11 minutes per month, or 24 seconds per day on news websites </li></ul><ul><li>Online news is therefore not a natural home for display-style advertising formats </li></ul><ul><li>However, most news publishers are also not generating material revenue from subscriptions </li></ul>Minutes spent with news per month by the average (online) user and (print) reader
  4. 4. <ul><li>Local newspaper readers were worth about £77 in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Online users were worth about £5 a year </li></ul><ul><li>Regional site scale is naturally limited, but we also think the opportunities for substantial revenue growth are also limited </li></ul>Value of readers and users (local news brands) [Source: Enders Analysis estimates based on National Readership Survey, Advertising Association and comScore data] UK regional press revenue per reader (£) Revenue per online unique visitor (£) Revenue per user will depend more on publisher strategies in terms of subscriptions and whether their current obsession with audience scale continues
  5. 5. Local and regional newspaper advertising Local and regional newspaper advertising spend (£m) <ul><li>We estimate local and regional newspaper advertising will decline by £1.4 billion over five years </li></ul><ul><li>In Q1 2009, local and regional newspaper advertising has declined by 35%, including 50% declines in two critical categories, recruitment and property advertising </li></ul>[Source: Advertising Association and Enders Analysis estimates]
  6. 6. <ul><li>The marketplace / expenditure for local media will be lower overall in the future </li></ul><ul><li>The £5 billion local advertising market is rapidly moving online </li></ul><ul><li>Google, online YP directories and regional start-ups are all taking market share from regional newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>By 2014, a technology platform that provides a ‘scaleable’ network solution for regional advertising feels highly likely </li></ul>UK local marketplace [Source: Advertising Association, Rajar. Note: regional advertising covers all classifieds in regional newspapers; regional display in regional newspapers; regional advertising in radio; all advertising in directories; in online, all directory advertising, all classifieds, 20% of search advertising; 20% of cinema and outdoor advertising] UK regional advertising revenue estimates (£m) Migration of direct response advertising from print to online is also shifting marketing from local brands to national / global brands, and putting severe downward pressure on rates 2001 2007 2014 Newspapers 2,570 2,486 1,166 Radio 143 159 118 Directories 902 960 330 Internet 123 1,166 1,962 Cinema 33 41 50 Outdoor 135 195 174 Total 3,906 5,007 3,800
  7. 7. <ul><li>‘ Plurality’ discussions tend to deal with all media neutrally at best </li></ul><ul><li>However, local news provision by newspaper publishers is a particularly precious commodity in our view </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Printed format has particular appeal to older demographics, who are less well (and in many cases not at all) served by online media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print news and analysis plays a uniquely influential (therefore important) role in investigative news provision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print format and print consumption behaviour are unique balance: “an island of peace in the digital chaos” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The depth, breadth and continuity of news provision at both local and regional levels is unmatched by other media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The UK does not have a long tradition of local (rather than regional) TV, though there are some good examples (GMG in Manchester) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, Government and public advertising and public notices have been retreating from newspapers since 2004 – the public sector as a whole spends more than £400 million on advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Councils have also started publishing their own print ‘newspaper’ services </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, the Post Office ‘newspaper registration service’ was withdrawn four years ago; and the 1994 ‘newspaper code of practice’ (guaranteed delivery to all newsagents) is expected to follow </li></ul>Government intervention
  8. 8. <ul><li>Late last year, the BBC Trust pulled the plug on plans by the BBC to launch a local video service, in essence because the threats to the marketplace outweighed the public interest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our view was that, at the very least, the timing of such a proposition could hardly have been worse </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In all, we believe government intervention should make the trading landscape less onerous for local news providers, and encourage journalistic depth, breadth, quality – in other words, ‘favour’ the civic duty of journalism </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, targeted tax breaks aimed at alleviating investment in the most threatened parts of the news supply chain, such as training and distribution, should be looked into </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This has been controversial in the film industry; careful planning should prevent abuse of the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As importantly, Government and public services should reverse decisions to retreat from newspaper advertising and publish their own newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Independently Financed News Consortia (INFCs) are designed to “help secure plurality alongside the BBC”, by ensuring Channel 3 regional / local news output (and in so doing, releasing ITV from its regional and local news obligations) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However, INFCs risk undermining the competitive position of local / regional newspaper publisher services, both in print and online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, multimedia services would be free-to-access, undermining publisher opportunities to create a paid-for digital service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We believe INFCs will be abandoned by an in-coming conservative government </li></ul></ul>Government intervention
  9. 9. <ul><li>Swedish newspaper industry </li></ul><ul><li>Three subsidies are provided </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Production subsidy : provided to ‘number two’ newspapers in an area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joint distribution subsidy : to encourage rival papers to deliver through the same home-delivery network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferential loans : for technology investments; more so for joint ventures in presses etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>While the production subsidy may be less relevant in the UK the other categories may be worth exploring </li></ul>Government intervention