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Newspapers "will not only survive, but prosper" says Lorna Tilbian

City media analyst Lorna Tilbian says there are some "excellent examples of innovation" in the newspaper industry, which will ensure newsbrands will continue to adapt and prosper in the digital world.

Writing for the News Media Association, Tilbian, who is executive PLC director and head of media at Numis, stated: "There is real cause for optimism at several national newspapers which have hit an inflection point whereby the decline in physical advertising is being more than offset by growth in digital advertising."

While she acknowledges that the past decade has presented both "structural challenges and opportunities" for the global newspaper industry due to "ongoing changes in consumer behaviour" and the "difference between the performance of display and classified advertising", Tilbian believes that the "adaptability and innovation of newspaper companies will come to the fore". Expanding on this, she says "we are already seeing some excellent examples of innovation… and publishers should continue to pursue these initiatives".

In particular, Tilbian predicts that in the next decade newspapers – now multi-platform newsbrands – will "move away from a free ad-funded model towards a diverse range of online business models appropriate to the publisher's readership base". Drawing on some of the areas where newsbrands are already innovating, she references "business models such as online advertising, paid content/subscription/pay-per-view, enterprise, user data/market research and licencing content and technology".

With the internet having birthed a proliferation of online news sites, Tilbian asserts that "due to their investment in news, more than any other media, national and local newspapers still occupy a unique space in the marketplace, providing the highly trusted news and information which their readers rely on”.

By continuing with initiatives already in motion within the newspaper industry, Tilbian predicts that “newspapers – a vital component in preserving communities, upholding democracy and keeping power in check – will not only survive but prosper”.

Source: News Media Association

by Jessie Sampson 29/05/15

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