The Romanian print advertising market has decreased, since the beginning of the crisis, from roughly 80 million to a value estimated between 24 and 27 million in 2011 (Mediaedge:cia and Initiative Media for The Industry). 2011 is the first year when print spendings will go below the Internet budgets. Titles such as “Gândul” have closed their paper edition (April 2011), while “Adevărul” lost more than two thirds of its sold circulation, since the first months of 2010. The crisis stroke badly the print segment of the media market, because economic fragility became an open door for the politicians’ and political parties’ influence and tabloid content got mixed in every publication’s formula.
In other words, things appear as they could not look any worse. Both newspapers journalists and their managers are depressive, quality titles have very little prestige left and even tabloids can complain about sold circulation.
Is it the extinction then? Not really. More like the bottom point. Or, in other words, more like the end of the crisis than the end of the print media. Obviously, print will cease to exist in its traditional form. Or it already ceased. But it’s more about a change of a business model. The decrease of the advertising spendings in the segment is only roughly 10%, 2011 versus 2010. So hopefully the market has settled down to 25-30 million euros/year. Sold circulation decrease, which also brings a decrease of the revenues, is more manifest for titles deprived of aggressive marketing (books and DVD’s inserts) such as “Adevărul” than for the rest of the market. It is organic, dealing with the consumers’ interest, to a smaller extent. So these days the issue is more the discovery of a new business model/sustainability recipe than about losing even more speed. Continue reading