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The agency said the credit profiles of large print media companies will be resilient, cushioned by healthy liquidity and strong balance sheets (Representative Image / iStock)

Despite 35% revenue growth in FY 22 on a lower basis, newspaper industry revenues will only hit 75% of pre-pandemic levels, a report said on Monday. . Industry revenue of Rs 31,000 crore in FY20, split at 70:30 between advertising and subscriptions, had fallen 40% in the previous fiscal year by the midpoint of the first wave. The same is expected to reach Rs 24,000 to 25,000 crore in FY 22.

Measures to rationalize costs and digitize content will lead to a return to profitability to 9-10 percent, rating agency Crisil said, admitting that bottom line will increase despite the 20-30 percent rise in prices of newsprint in the past six months.

Unlike the experience of Western countries, print media will remain popular in India due to factors such as low cover prices, the ability to deliver original and credible content, and people’s habit of reading physical newspapers.Crisil

The agency, which rates companies accounting for 40% of the sector’s revenue, said the credit profiles of large print media companies will be resilient, cushioned by healthy cash flow and strong balance sheets, while for others, management liquidity will be crucial. . “The second wave impacted ad revenue in the last quarter as it is highly correlated with economic activity. We expect ad revenue to pick up from the current quarter as economic activity picks up. “said its director Nitesh Jain.

When it comes to subscription revenue, the industry is experiencing a structural shift as consumers shift in preference to digital news, physical newspapers, the agency said, adding that this is more important for consumers. English newspapers, which have a higher share in subways and level-1. cities, where digital adoption is also higher.

When it comes to subscription revenues, the sector is undergoing a structural change in the context of a shift in consumer preference towards digital news, physical newspapersCrisil

English newspapers are focused on monetizing content by putting premium information behind paid walls and pushing digital subscription with paper subscription, he said.

Non-English newspapers, on the other hand, had relatively resilient subscription revenues even during the first wave due to their strong roots in the hinterland, he said, adding that the overall loss of Subscription income in fiscal year 22 will be limited to 12-15%. of the pre-pandemic level.

Unlike the experience of Western countries, print media will remain popular in India due to factors such as low cover prices, the ability to deliver original and credible content, and people’s habit of reading physical newspapers.

Newsprint accounts for a third of total costs for print media companies, he said, adding that there has been an increase of up to 30 percent in newsprint prices in the past six months. .

Despite rising costs, the operating margin is expected to reach 9-10% this fiscal year, which is 1-2% below the pre-pandemic low of FY20.

The analysis assumes that the impact of the second wave will continue to subside, as seen now. Any subsequent resurgence of infections of this tax and its impact on its economic activity will be controllable, the agency added.

Pew’s estimate of weekday newspaper circulation, which is complicated by the move to digital and some different reporting sources, was 24.3 million last year.

The Accenture economists’ analysis, commissioned by Google, examines newspaper revenues in Western Europe over nearly two decades to reveal exactly what shattered the old newspaper business model.


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