Newspaper publishing

Newspaper publishers are extending their video capabilities in their search for alternatives. However, it is not expected that digital advertising and circulation revenue will overcome the fall in print revenues in the period 2017-2021.

Playing field

The Dutch newspaper industry is facing year after year of shrinking advertising and circulation revenues of printed newspapers. Publishers are moving out of the traditional newsgathering role by adopting an ‘online-first’ approach. This shift is a response to consumers’ new way of news consumption, which causes the need for publishers to create and optimise content in a way that makes it usable across different platforms and across multiple titles. Further need for cost-cutting opportunities are found in integration of titles and centralisation of editorial departments. These measures are in line with the strategy that articles are written once and can be published on multiple platforms.

What’s new

Besides the persistent cost-cutting efforts of publishers to remain profitable in the shrinking print newspaper market, further efficiencies are also sought in consolidation. In July 2017, another takeover took place after Mediahuis and VP Exploitatie announced an acquired share of 64.66% in TMG. Due to the varied strategies of the other shareholders – in particular Talpa which held approximately 29% of the remaining shares – uncertainty remains when it comes to the impact on the newspaper market. Fact is that this takeover means 88% of the Dutch paid print circulation will be controlled by the De Persgroep (52%) and Mediahuis (36%).

 

 

Newspaper publishing market (€ millions)
Netherlands Historical data Forecast data CAGR %
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 17-21
Print 325 262 240 218 196 175 159 144 132 119 -9.5%
y-o-y growth   -19.4% -8.4% -9.2% -10.1% -10.7% -9.1% -9.4% -8.3% -9.8%  
Digital 34 31 35 37 37 39 44 47 49 51 6.6%
y-o-y growth
  -8.8% 12.9% 5.7% 0.0% 5.4% 12.8% 6.8% 4.3% 4.1%     
Advertising 359 293 275 255 233 214 203 191 181 170 -6.1%
y-o-y growth   -18.4% -6.1% -7.3% -8.6% -8.2% -5.1% -5.9% -5.2% -6.1%  
Print 893 845 803 770 734 716 679 638 589 544 -5.8%
y-o-y growth   -5.4% -5.0% -4.1% -4.7% -2.5% -5.2% -6.0% -7.7% -7.6%  
Digital 5 38 72 95 130 143 160 175 188 197 8.7%
y-o-y growth   66.0% 89.5% 31.9% 36.8% 10.0% 11.9% 9.4% 7.4% 4.8%  
Circulation 898 883 875 865 864 859 839 813 777 741 -3.0%
y-o-y growth   -1.7% -0.9% -1.1% -0.1% -0.6% -2.3% -3.1% -4.4% -4.6%  
Total 1,257 1,176 1,150 1,120 1,097 1,073 1,042 1,004 958 911 -3.6%
y-o-y growth   -6.4% -2.2% -2.6% -2.1% -2.2% -2.9% -3.6% -4.6% -4.9%  

Outlook

Publishers are extending their video capabilities in their search for alternatives. In May 2017, Telegraaf launched its VNDG platform on apps and as a standalone website, offering freely available video content, but only giving subscribers access to premium content. The VNDG platform offers short videos (typically shorter than ten minutes) across a range of news, entertainment and sports topics. By offering this content Telegraaf may well reap new ad revenue.

Another perceptible trend in the field of video internet advertising is the establishment of local partnerships in order to provide a qualitative alternative for the large and powerful global players like Google and Facebook. Examples are Branddeli and De Persgroep with the video platform MyChannels and RTL selling online video advertising space for TMG’s digital platforms. These initiatives, although they have a clear strategy, still have to prove to be lucrative in the long-term. Therefore, it is not expected that digital advertising and circulation revenue will overcome the fall in print revenues in the period 2017-2021.

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Wouter Poot
Partner
Tel: +31 (0)88 792 50 39
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