Tag Archives: online offerings

InPublishing survey: ‘Behind the turnover figures, the industry is essentially still in profit’

The publishing industry is in ‘remarkably robust’ health, according to a new survey of 187 companies – encompassing 911 consumer magazines, 855 B2B magazines and newsletters, 413 newspapers (both regional and national) and a total of 1,056 individual websites.

The survey, which was a joint project between Wide Area, Wessenden Marketing and InPublishing magazine, suggests a slide rather than plunge in industry turnover – partly a result of ‘headcount reduction and ruthless cost control, where marketing budgets in particular have suffered’.

“Online growth is clearly outstripping print revenue trends; circulation revenues are performing better than advertising sales; and subscription sales better than retail copy sales. ‘Other revenues’ (which include reader offers, events & services, as well as contract publishing) are showing medium growth, behind online, but ahead of print revenue streams,” the survey suggests.

This is an extensive piece of work, well worth a read (you’ll need to register), and includes sub-sections dealing with:
Online opportunities and threats
Website profitability and costs
How publishers are planning to ‘manage the future’

Some key findings from the report are below:

  • 59 per cent of those surveyed have under 10 per cent of their turnover coming from online/digital activities;
  • Online revenue streams are showing the most growth with paid-for online content, classified online and display advertising ranking above print revenue streams;
  • 20 per cent of publishers surveyed are looking to grow staff numbers, while 54 per cent will hold steady;
  • Online, the highest threat publishers are facing is a lack of resources/focus/knowledge e.g. not having the skills in-house to adapt to new technologies or resources to develop online offerings;
  • Cutting costs and overheads and developing more innovative, multimedia advertising strategies are seen as the most critical tasks for publishers going forward.

An end to WHOIS?

Today a committee at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will deal with calls for the ‘internet addressbook’ service WHOIS to be shut down over privacy concerns.

For those who have not used WHOIS before: the site provides access to contact details for registered owners of web addresses. A simple search of the WHOIS database by domain name brings up the info.

Its a useful tool for journalists wanting to establish who is behind online offerings and as a means of tracking down publishers details.

According to an Associated Press report, privacy groups argue that website publishers should not have to part with so much personal information just to set up a website. There are also issues surrounding the use of WHOIS by spammers.

But, as the headline of the AP article suggests, scrapping WHOIS would be a step too far. Not only is it a valuable resource for businesses, lawyers and the media, but shutting it down would be a rash answer to an ongoing debate over who is allowed access to such information and how.

This is something that ICANN has been discussing for some time now – let’s hope they don’t give up the search for a more workable solution now.