With those who said that newspapers would no longer exist in Australia by now proved wrong, IbisWorld Research has been bold to make its own predictions.
Its new Newspaper Publishing - Australia Market Research Report forecasts a decline, but at an annualised 6.9 per cent over the next five years.
Revenue - which Ibis puts at A$3 billion - and printed newspaper circulation have rapidly declined over the past five years as readers have increasingly switched to online news sources, the report says. Lower circulation has made advertising spaces less attractive for media buying agencies and businesses, as newspapers are reaching fewer consumers.
"This trend has subsequently driven down revenue generated from advertising, which has traditionally been a major revenue source for operators in the newspaper publishing industry," it says. "Although newspaper publishers also compete online, revenue generated from online advertising is far less lucrative than traditional methods of publishing, as less advertising space is available."
The report says 13,157 people work in 330 newspaper publishing businesses.
"The popularity of smartphones and tablets has continued to change the industry's structure, and revenue has fallen due to the increasing popularity and accessibility of online news content," it says. Firms are forecast to seek innovative ways to generate greater advertising revenue.
IbisWorld says the most important Key Success Factors will be appropriate pricing policies, sccess to a highly skilled workforce and control of distribution arrangements. Analysts also discuss how external factors such as the business confidence index and internet connections impact industry performance.
IbisWorld says the market research report provides key industry analysis and industry statistics, measures market size, analyses current and future industry trends and shows market share for the industry's largest companies. It includes historical data and analysis for the key drivers, a five-year market and trends forecast, detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets, and an assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies.
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