WAN IFRA publishing industry report – speed up innovation or fail

WAN IFRA publishing industry report – speed up innovation or fail

Publishing industry faces many challenges today and innovation is a key success factor. But what is the overall picture and outlook in press and media including key risks, must have strategies and dos and don’ts? WAN IFRA publishing industry report unveils latest findings about the current situation in the industry challenged by technologies and shrinking revenues.

WAN IFRA publishing industry report

Worlds Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN IFRA) has just unveiled the latest findings from their 7th annual survey,  completed in the end of 2016, conducted in 11 languages based on views of nearly 250 executives from across 68 countries.  Below is an outline of key findings and observations.

Challenging status quo in the industry

Being a news publisher is a tricky task nowadays. Although the industry has been developing its new business intensively and adapting to change internally, majority of publisher today continue to face various obstacles.

  • Shrinking revenues (advertising, content and other sources)
  • Urgent need to change business model to survive
  • Search for additional revenue sources
  • Challenge to introduce “innovation culture.”

“Companies that prioritise innovation are more likely to report organisational and financial success compared with companies that don’t.”

Reluctance to innovate is a key risk

While the challenges are no doubt keeping news publishers awake at night, what are the key risk they face?

“Products, processes and employees cannot be adjusted quickly enough to the digital changes.”  

  • organisation’s reluctance to innovate 
  • challenges of finding new business models 
  • competition and business environment 

Long and short term changes: content, technology and process

So what needs to evolve? Executives mapped out various suggestions:

  • technology investments for both editorial (CMS) and commercial (CRMs)
  • convergence of operations, both across channels (print, online, broadcasting) and functions (technology, editorial, commercial)
  • efficiencies to cut costs and increase effectiveness
  • monetisation of both current endeavours and by identifying new business opportunities
  • social media platforms for content and commerce
  • developing talent from the board and across all departments, especially in regards to all things “digital”
  • the organisation’s approach to innovation

But what are the priorities when it comes to most important investments publishers plan in the next 12 months?

  1. Keeping pace with technological changes  
  2. Developing new products within the media sector
  3. Streamlining workflow and processes
  4. Reorganisation of internal operations

With key content and technical projects being:

  • In-house capacity for content generation/print editorial iPad/e-reader/tablet products that extend the news media brands
  • Mobile phone services that extend core news publication’s/broadcast channels’ brand(s)
  • Upgrade editorial technologies

More content and new partnerships 

According to WAN IFRA, publishers state the need to continue ploughing even more resources into creating a richer array of content for audiences, and to offering wider services to businesses (with video on online TV being first and third software and app development).

They also need to find a way to battle against Facebook and Google and securing better deals from partnerships with technology platforms seems one of the key answers for the future.

Want to know more about the publishing world and its challenges nowadays? Check our article about the key trends shaping the publishing industry.

Full World News Publishers Outlook 2017 report can be found here.


Are you interested in more digital publishing news? Read our article about key trends in publishing.