IFRA Trend Report for August 2008
BusinessChange is inevitable, but change may well be “ubiquitous” as well, at least as far as the media is concerned. At the World Newspaper Congress, 2008, the thrust of Tim Bowdler’s (chief executive, Johnston Press) speech was on change – change from product-focus, to customer-focus, backed by a thorough understanding of reader and advertiser.
According to the US Internet Advertising Forecast 2008-12 and Analysis, Internet advertising will grow eight times as fast as advertising overall and become the No. 2 advertising medium, ahead of newspapers and television. A PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012 (Outlook) survey reveals that digital and mobile distribution revenues will account for almost a quarter of all growth in the media industry in the coming five years.
In most homes across the world, early mornings usually begin with a cup of tea or coffee and the newspaper. Yes, and more often than not, waiting for the newspaper boy or girl to arrive. But times are a-changing. Soon, newspaper boys and girls may fade into history, at least in countries like the U.K.
Often, a newspaper’s Web site is not very different from its printed version. However, if more eyeballs have to be attracted, the focus must be on providing breaking news or local news on the home page, and also making it easily navigable for the reader. Perhaps a search box or a list of blogs on a newspaper Web site may be helpful.
What is the impact of printed newspapers on the environment? Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology has made a study on the subject. Clearly, at a time of global warming and climate change, the onus is on newspaper publishers more than ever before to contribute to environment conservation.
TechnologyNew developments are taking place in the area of Flexo CtP. For instance, the Kodak Flexcel NX plate and Kodak Flexcel Digital Flexographic System are said to bring offset quality to flexographic printing. MacDermid has developed a new flexo plate that has a much higher sensitivity than other flexo plates. And Fujifilm is working on producing a new plate that does not use image or plate exposure but plate engraving.
Steve Ballmer, chief, executive, Microsoft, says that all media can be delivered via the Internet in the very near future. There may be no newspapers or magazines in paper form at all. Backed by advertising support, Internet may be available to most people for free.
There is a lot of talk about the semantic Web and the vast opportunities it can provide publishers. Today is the world of ubiquitous computing, rich annotated content and independent media, with the emphasis being on delivering the right content via the right media. The New York Times has been successfully pursuing such an exercise.