Despite shrinking budgets, declining circulations and a historic spike in closures across the country in recent years, publishers are optimistic about the state of the industry in 2020, according to a recent survey conducted by magazine industry news site Folio.
Folio’s report, which surveyed the chief executives of major U.S. media companies, found that nearly half (43 percent) of the publishing chiefs polled anticipate that revenues will grow by single digits at their organizations in 2020, according to the survey. Meanwhile, about a quarter (26 percent) predict revenues will remain roughly flat, while the same number (26 percent) believe revenues will actually grow by more than 10 percent. Only about four percent of media CEOs expect revenues to decline.
|CEOS of major U.S. media companies were asked: which platforms will fuel audience growth for your company in 2020?|
Not surprisingly, most media executives (58 percent) expect that growth to come primarily from digital advertising. Events, conferences and trade shows were listed as another major income source (43 percent), followed by marketing services for advertisers (38 percent). Print advertising made an appearance at fourth place (36 percent). Subscriptions and single-copy sales (both print and digital), sales of other products (such e-commerce), affiliate marketing, awards programs and licensing bottomed out the list, at 23 percent, 19 percent, 10 percent, seven percent and five percent, respectively.
More than a third of media CEOs (36 percent) also predicted single-digit audience growth for their publications this year, while about the same number (35 percent) anticipated growth being roughly flat. More than a quarter (28 percent) said they expected to see growth by more than 10 percent, while only about two percent anticipate a decline in readership/viewership.
A positive sign for such a layoff-heavy industry, a majority (26 percent) of media executives said bringing aboard new talent would be their most significant source of investment in 2020. This was followed by expenditures on technology (18 percent), investments in new digital products or platforms (16 percent), print (13 percent) and events (12 percent).
Data for Folio’s “Investment and Growth Survey” interviewed CEOs at eight media and news organizations (Active Interest Media, Endeavor Business Media, Government Executive Media Group, Meredith Corp., The Nation, Questex, SANDOW and Trusted Media Brands).