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Newsmedia will see chaos in 2009, and in chaos will be opportunity: INMA report

Newsmedia will see chaos in 2009, and in chaos will be opportunity: INMA report

The year 2009 will be one of disruption, displacement, and disaggregation for newsmedia companies. Structural trends that have been building for the past decade will be accelerated in an economic downturn whose precise magnitude is still unknown as of this writing, says a report from the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA).

The year 2009 will hinge on the economy, the migration of advertising to the internet, access to capital in troubling times, and newsprint prices, says the INMA report 'Newsmedia Outlook 2009: Converting Bandwidth to Innovation'. The mood among newsmedia executives, INMA believes, is urgent. Profits remain high, though they will be under considerable pressure. Newsmedia stocks plummeted long before the current economic crisis because the market lacks faith companies have a transition strategy to the Digital Age.

The report is based on a mixture of personal interviews, surveys, analyses, and secondary sources. In addition to tapping the breadth of its worldwide network, INMA spent considerable research this year exploring what is happening in media industries going through similar transformative times as newspapers: music, movie, book, and magazine industries especially.

Authored by INMA Executive Director Earl J Wilkinson, the report says, "Everywhere in the INMA network worldwide, there is evidence of slowdowns. The mood ranges from cautious to moribund. In fast-growing India, there is talk of a cooling off period for the circulation wars as newspapers are faced with higher newsprint costs and lower advertising. In the United States, there are worries that economic collapse could erase the capital base from which newspaper companies long planned to transition toward becoming technology companies. In Germany, publishers are bracing for bad times."

'Newsmedia Outlook 2009' raises the issue of content. "As content becomes disaggregated from the print newspaper bundle, its value is moving toward commodity status. More and more, that means newsmedia must create value around the context of content—an entirely new field of study. A look at the music, movie, magazine, and book industries shows that they also are going through platform proliferation, and they are looking carefully at each platform’s maximum commercial value. This is leading these industries to create'“experiences' across platforms. Not only are these digital experiences opportunities for newsmedia companies, the study of platform values hints at upside possibilities for the print newspaper."

The fundamental storyline remains sound. Wilkinson goes on to explain, "Newsmedia companies have the raw assets to transform themselves into multi-platform enterprises serving consumers and advertisers whenever and wherever they prefer. The question is whether senior managements have the cultural willpower and the capital base to do so."

The ten chapters of the report delve in the problems and look at how these, in turn, can become prospects. The 110-page report does not waste time and wordage at the current scenario for newsmedia companies. Wilkinson ends his executive summary with "The'perfect storm' has arrived. Yet in chaos, there is opportunity." This is what sets the tone and tenor of the report. This not where the report ends, but rather where it begins.

The agenda, perhaps was set in the last report in this series—'Newspaper Outlook 2008' when INMA was still the International Newspaper Marketing Association. Last year's report was slugged 'Creating Value In a Multi-Media Landscape', which saw INMA itself drop 'newspaper' from its nomenclature and go in for 'newsmedia'. The organisation has been moving with the times, and therefore ensures that 'Newsmedia Outlook 2009' is a must-read for newsmedia company chief executives, senior management personnel, and editors.

Date posted: November 7, 2008 Date modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 1623