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At the WAN IFRA Congress in Vienna: Looking at an Industry in Transition

Posted on the 13 October 2011 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: The 63rd World Newspaper Congress opens in Vienna today with seminars and discussions centered around the theme Taking Publishing to the Next Level. I prepare to moderate a panel Friday all about tablet publishing. We cover the WAN IFRA Congress live the next two days. AND: A mini iPad in the makings?

Today is the opening day of the WAN IFRA 63rd World Newspaper Congress in Vienna.
I am here in this gathering of the world’s publishers and will moderate a panel Friday titled, The Steps Towards a Successful Tablet Application

The concept’s theme this year is Taking Publishing to the Next Level.

The buzz during coffee breaks is all about an industry in transition, publishing in the tablet, and deciphering the best business models to make money from it all.  Session after session here addresses the topics, although the printed newspaper appears quite prominently, too.

As always, the WAN-IFRA Congress kicks starts the proceedings with publication of the World Press Trends, and the headline this year is : Newspapers Still Reach More Than Internet. According to the report, newspaper circulation declined in print world-wide last year but was more than made up by an increase in digital audiences .

Circulation is like the sun. It continues to rise in the East and decline in the West,“ said Christoph Riess, CEO of WAN-IFRA, who presented the annual survey today. (For more highlights of the study, see below)

Our panel discussion

Nowadays, we update presentations until the last minute, a good thing, since I have now come across a study that backs up a lot of what we have been intuiting about the use of tablets for news consumption, and I hope to add these finds of the and Starcom MediaVest to the presentation, as a good subject for discussion for the panel as well.

Highlights of the study:

1. Here is something that will make editors smile: tablet owners report reading more stories from more sources on more topics than non-tablet users, they enjoy the experience more, and they go straight to the source more often, rather than relying on aggregators.

2.Add the fun factor to the tablet’s benefits: Something that seldom happened with PCs: while 62% reported that tablets let them do things more efficiently, 51% said their tablets let them have more fun.

3. Advertising becomes more fun, too: Control over the experience played into subjects’ preferences for news content itself, but it even factored into the way they felt about advertising, that crucial element of the news business. Now all we need is for advertising agencies to realize that tablet advertising can be designed differently, for a totally more engaging experience.  Think advertising suites. Think mini websites to introduce products. Think storytelling as part of the advertising experience. All themes we have mentioned often in this blog.

4.Extra, extra, the news experience enhanced: Respondents reported that tablets substantially improved many aspects of the news experience. 81% reported that “tablets make following the news more interesting and enjoyable,“ and 78% felt that “tablets substantially improve the news experience overall.“

5. Bring in those pop up moments: 85% of tablet users would like to have more pop ups. Amen. It is not about turning the pages, remember.

For more information about the WAN IFRA Congress:

Highlights of the World Press Trends report, based on a presentation by Christoph Riess, CEO of WAN-IFRA.

- Media consumption patterns vary widely across the globe. Print circulation is increasing in Asia, but declining in mature markets in the West.

- The number of titles globally is consolidating.


-The main decline is in free dailies.  In fact, free newspapers took a big hit in 2010 – a drop in total distribution to 24 million copies from a high of around 34 million in 2008. “The hype is over,“ said Mr Riess. “In many cities, too many free titles were launched. There were newspaper wars. Now the market is maturing, and though the number of titles has declined, there are still opportunities.”


-For advertisers, newspapers are more time efficient and effective than other media. “The internet advertising model has been well-established, but most of the revenue goes to search engines – 65 percent to Google alone,” Mr. Riess reported.

- Newspapers reach more people than the internet. On a typical day newspapers reach 20 percent more people world-wide than the internet reaches, ever. Daily print newspaper circulation declined from 528 million in 2009 to 519 million in 2010, a drop of about 2 percent. But what has been lost to print has been more than made up by digital newspaper readers. Digital audiences are typically a third of print readership. So against a 2 percent decline, digital growth is significantly greater. In fact, when measured in terms of readership, newspapers reach 2.3 billion people every day, 20 percent more than the 1.9 billion that the internet reaches world-wide.


-Digital advertising revenues are not compensating for the ad revenues lost to print.


-Social media are changing the concept and process of content gathering and dissemination. But the revenue model for news companies, in the social media arena, remains hard to find.

- The business of news publishing has become one of constant updating, of monitoring, distilling and repacking information.

- The new digital business is not the traditional newspaper business.

-For more details:

A smaller, cheaper iPad on the way?

Well, not so far fetched, and perhaps the Apple folks have decided to put some heat under the Amazon’s Kindle Fire, with a smaller version that can compare price with it, too.

The mini” iPad could happen as soon as early 2012!

Apple: Ticonderoga Mulls Cheaper iPad ‘Mini

TheMarioBlog post #878

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