Achieving financial stability in today’s media landscape

Achieving financial stability in today’s media landscape

Today’s media industry faces multiple challenges: demand for printed products has been declining, while costs of printing and distribution have been increasing. However, this sector is still relevant, both in terms of readership and even more so in generating revenue. Meanwhile, it is hard to capitalize on the emerging digital division as much as it would be required to achieve financial sustainability. Many media companies have found themselves between a rock and a hard place, but they can mine their way out.

Publishing companies eager for financial sustainability amid radical changes in media landscape

A transitional era for publishing

Today’s media landscape is, for sure, two-faced. Why? Let’s see it in an example from Western Europe.

Mediahuis, a media company located in Belgium, has more than 30 news brands, around 1.7 million subscribers across six countries, of which 57 percent are print and the rest, 43 percent, are digital. However, in 2022, 70 percent of its gross profit margin was attributed to print publications, revealing that the print sector is still more profitable than the digital.

Many sticking to printed newspapers despite trends of digitalization

Another media company, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of Germany’s leading news publishers, is already far on the other side of the print-digital spectrum regarding subscribers, with ninety percent being digital.

Seeing these numbers, one could conclude that they should scrap the pricey and declining print sector altogether. However, it would be a miscalculation.

Firstly, surveys suggest that no less than two-thirds of subscribers would cancel immediately, if forced to switch from print to digital. Moreover, half of the remaining one-third would cancel after about six months. All in all, a forced switch to digital would result in over 80 percent cancellations. What does it mean in FAZ’s case? It would mean giving up almost 10 percent of their subscribers, causing a significant loss. Secondly, even though FAZ has seen its print circulation cut compared to a decade ago, it is still relevant. According to internal analysis, by 2030, the share of the print will sink to 30 percent from the existing 70 percent. However, it will still be a relevant source of income.

In conclusion, digital media will advance even further, but print will remain important, even in the long run. Therefore, publishing companies need to create their strategies accordingly.

Adaption is key

Success in a changing environment belongs to those who adapt. Evolution is not the survival of the strongest but that of the adaptable.

At the World Printers Forum, held recently, a handful of experts – among them Mediahuis COO Paul Verwilt, and Carsten Knop, Publisher of FAZ Digital Products, shared what they think the fundamental elements of success are in the changing media environment:

  • keep printing costs under control
  • automate the print process (digital-first workflow + automated print layout)
  • speed up the publishing process, reduce stops
  • introduce a multi-level paywall subscription system
  • invest in social media presence
  • invest in trending media formats (videos, podcasts, newsletters, e-papers, etc.)
  • create synergy between print and digital, allowing them to strengthen each other
  • cooperation with other media companies

There are many fields where publishing companies need to improve. The good news is that there is a combined solution to tackle most of these challenges.

Evolve your publishing system

In today’s economic and media environment, it is vital for media companies to have a professional publishing system to deliver content across digital and print channels.

Netrix iCMS, our company’s leading product, makes publishing fast and easy while providing flexibility and safety.

Some of its key advantages are:

  • one editorial system for all your publications
  • synchronizes your online and print content through Adobe InDesign automation
  • fast and smooth workflow
  • automates the printing process, providing fast and easy data transfer from digital to print and print to digital with perfect styling
  • offers plenty of new media formats (videos, podcasts, newsletter)
  • quick or even automated social media posting
  • helps you boost your revenue by introducing a multi-level paywall
  • an out-of-the-box solution, yet tailor-made for you
  • budget-friendly

Its ever-evolving list of features includes a WordPress connector plugin, an Adobe Indesign connector plugin, an Issue planner, a customized authorization system, an acceptance flow, author statistics, an SEO booster, a multi-level paywall, social media connector and RSS feed, Newsletter, Video Streaming, etc.

Contact us now for a free and personal webinar to learn more about Netrix iCMS.

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