Some signs of stability for newspaper sector in PwC report
Every year, PricewaterhouseCoopers reads the global tea leaves on the media and entertainment sector and discerns the future path for everything from video games to consumer magazines. So what fortunes does it predict for newspaper publishing over the next five years?
After years of decline, global newspaper publishing revenues (which include the digital revenues of newspaper groups) will enjoy a period of stabilisation, it forecasts.
This is thanks almost entirely to continued expansion in developing markets with growing middle-class populations such as India, Indonesia, China and Brazil, where higher revenues will offset the “longer-term declines in mature markets”.
On the Irish newspaper sector – “heavily hit by Ireland’s economic woes” – PwC’s report points to “positive signs” such as increases in readership (thanks to free dailies and digital editions) and Government educational initiatives targeting younger readers.
But it otherwise has some blunt words: “Leading Irish newspaper groups didn’t generally invest in their online products during their years of growth and aren’t in a position to do so now,” the report states.
It also identifies an increase in postal rates as “another factor inhibiting a recovery”, because it is putting pressure on publishers trying to run subscription models.
PwC values the Irish newspaper sector at $495 million (€374 million) for 2012, and says this will have declined to $409 million (€309 million) in 2017.