here's a newspaper 'renaissance' on

NEW DELHI: All you guys planning to start newspapers in India have reasons to smile. And, all the doomsday prophets predicting a beginning of the end for the newspaper industry, because of the technology onslaught in the form of TV, Internet and what have you, might just as well eat your words.



The circulation of newspapers in the world not only increased strongly in 2004 at 2.1 per cent, but advertising revenues made significant gains, according to World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

What's more, Indian newspaper sales increased 8 per cent in 2004 and 14 per cent in the five-year period, thus making the country one of the top five newspaper markets in the world.

WAN said, unlike previous years, growth was not only driven by gains in developing markets, but increases in sales in many mature markets as global revenues increased over five per cent.

Although newspaper advertising revenues increased in many markets, newspapers' share of the world ad market declined from 30.5 per cent in 2003 to 30.1 per cent in 2004. But newspapers remain the world's second largest advertising medium, after television, and are expected to retain this position for many years.

The new data, from WAN's annual survey of world press trends, was released a few days ago to more than 1,300 publishers, editors and other senior newspaper executives from 81 countries attending the 58th World Newspaper Congress and 12th World Editors Forum in Seoul, Korea.

The five largest markets for newspapers, according to WAN are, China, with 93.5 million copies sold daily; India, with 78.8 million copies daily; Japan, with 70.4 million copies daily; the United States, with 55.6 million; and Germany, 22.1 million.

Sales increased in China, India and Japan in 2004 and declined in the U.S. and Germany.

"It has been an extraordinarily positive 12 months for the global newspaper industry," according to Timothy Balding, director general of the Paris-based WAN.

"We have come to expect big circulation gains in developing countries, but it has been a very long time since we saw such a revival in so many mature markets. Newspapers are clearly undergoing a renaissance through new products, new formats, new titles, new editorial approaches, better distribution and better marketing," he added in a statement.



The highlights of the Wan study are as follows:


*Circulation grew 2.1 percent worldwide in 2004, taking global sales to a new high of 395 million daily.

*The total number of daily titles was up 2 percent in the world in 2004 and up 4.6 per cent since 2000.

*2004 saw the best advertising performance in four years, with a revenue increase of 5.3 percent.

*The audience for newspaper web sites grew 32 percent last year and 350 percent over five years.

*The total circulation of dailies in the world climbed 2.1 percent in 2004. Over five years, it is up 4.8 percent.

Sales of newspapers increased in 44 percent of the countries surveyed and were stable in a further 12 percent. 31 percent of those markets show a rise over five years.

More than 395 million people buy a newspaper every day, up from 374 million in 1999. Average readership is estimated to be more than one billion people each day.

Three-quarters of the world's 100 best selling dailies are now published in Asia. China has overtaken Japan as the country with the highest number of publications in the top 100.

The five largest markets for newspapers are China, with 93.5 million copies sold daily; India, with 78.8 million copies daily; Japan, with 70.4 million copies daily; the United States, with 55.6 million; and Germany, 22.1 million. Sales increased in China, India and Japan in 2004 and declined in the U.S. and Germany.

*Circulation sales were up 4.1 percent in Asia in 2004 over the previous year, up 6.3 percent in South America, up 6 percent in Africa, down 1.4 percent in Europe, down 0.2 percent in North America and down 1 percent in Australia and Oceania.

*Newspapers in the European Union saw a slight 0.7 percent drop in circulation in 2004, but sales were only 0.4 percent less (or 360,000 copies) than five years ago.

*The circulation of US dailies fell 1.0 percent in 2004 and -2.06 over five years. Morning newspaper sales dropped by only 0.09 percent and are up by 0.25 percent over five years, while sales of evening editions declined by 6.2 and 14 percent respectively.

*In Japan, newspaper sales grew by +0.04 percent in 2004, the first increase in many years. Over five years, sales were down -2.13 percent.

* In Pakistan, sales increased +3 percent last year and +13 percent over five years.

* Elsewhere in Asia, sales in Singapore were up 3 percent last year, Malaysian sales were up 4 percent, Indonesia saw a 6.5 percent increase and Mongolian newspapers increased sales by 31 percent.

*Australia recorded a decline of -1.21 percent in sales in 2004 and -4.83 percent over five years, while New Zealand newspaper sales were stable year-on-year and down -4.96 percent over five years.

*The Norwegians and the Japanese remain the world's greatest newspaper buyers with, respectively, 651 and 644 sales per thousand population each day. Finland comes next with 522 followed by Sweden with 489.



New Titles

*The total number of daily titles was up 2 percent in the world in 2004 and up 4.6 percent since 2000, taking the total to 6,580 dailies.

*Eighty-one percent of countries for which data was available reported an increase in the number of daily titles last year. Over five years, 44 percent reported an increase in the number of dailies.

*The number of daily titles was up 4.1 percent in Asia; +1.3 percent in Europe; +1.1 percent in South America, +1.4 percent in Australia and Oceania; and up 10.4 percent in Africa. The number of titles declined -0.1 percent in North America.


*Global newspaper advertising revenues saw their biggest increase in five years and were up 5.3 percent in 2004, following a 2 percent increase in 2003.

*Although newspaper advertising revenues are increasing in many markets, newspapers' share of the world ad market declined from 30.5 percent in 2003 to 30.1 percent in 2004.

*But newspapers remain the world's second largest advertising medium, after television, and are expected to retain this position for many years.

*Sixteen countries and regions saw newspaper advertising market share growth in 2004: Argentina, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

*Over five years, newspapers in 19 countries and territories saw increased market share. They are Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

*Newspaper advertising revenues in the USA, by far the largest newspaper advertising market in the world, increased by 3.93 percent in 2004, compared with a 1.9 percent increase in 2003 and a drop the two previous years.

*In Japan, ad expenditures in newspapers showed the first positive growth -- up 0.01 percent -- after three years of decline.

*China saw increase in advertising revenues of 29 percent last year, more than double the growth in 2003, and 116 percent over five years.

*Newspaper markets in the European Union saw a 4 percent increase in newspaper advertising revenues in 2004, though they are still down 16 percent from the boom year of 2000.

*Over five years, advertising revenues were up in nine of the countries for which data was available. They are Czech Republic, +49.4 percent; Estonia, +29.03 percent; Hungary, +44.56 percent: Latvia, +45.51 percent; Lithuania, +93 percent; Luxembourg, +10.6 percent; Poland, + 98.6 percent; Netherlands, +18.08 percent; and Slovakia, +114.85 percent.

*Advertising revenues declined in the five-year period in seven EU countries, which are Finland, -3.22 percent; France, -23 percent; Greece, -0.26 percent; Italy, -16.33 percent; Spain, -6.28 percent; Sweden, -15.8 percent; and the United Kingdom, -6.31 percent.

*In Russia, newspaper advertising revenues increased 31 percent in 2004, compared with a 17 percent increase in 2003.

*In Australia and New Zealand, revenues were up 7.6 percent and 14.7 percent respectively over one year.


*Traffic grew 32 percent last year and 350 percent over five years for the newspaper web sites for which data is available over several years.

*Internet advertising revenues continue to grow rapidly, and were up 21 percent in 2004, the highest growth for five years.

Free Dailies

*The size of the free daily market in several countries is impressive; in Spain, free daily distribution represents a huge 40 percent of the market; in Italy, 29 percent; in Denmark 27 percent, and in Portugal, 25 percent.

Format Changes

*The trend from broadsheet to compact format is accelerating, with a record 56 such switches in 2004. 36 percent of newspapers are now published in compact format and the number has increased by 2 percent in 12 months.

*In addition to providing a broader picture of the world newspaper market, the report provides a wealth of unusual and interesting facts about newspapers from around the world, such as:

*In Bolivia, only 5 percent of the population buys a new newspaper occasionally.

*In Bosnia, 53 percent of adults have no confidence in any print media.

*There is no printing press in Equatorial Guinea and newspapers are photocopied.

Indian newspapers, published in 18 languages, include not only bi-lingual but tri-lingual publications.

In Jordan, where dailies are obliged by law to have a minimum capital of 700,000 US$, there is also a legal obligation for editors-in-chief to have ten consecutive years as a journalist before they can be appointed.

In Mozambique, the chief distribution means for dailies is by fax. These fax publications consist of four pages, including ads.

The Uzbek government has invented newspapers without news. Private newspapers are allowed to publish advertising, horoscopes and other features - but no news.

The Paris-based WAN, a global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom worldwide. It represents 18,000 newspapers and its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups

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