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Publishing of Newspapers, Magazines and Journals in South Africa 2014

  • January 2014
  • -
  • Who Owns Whom
  • -
  • 81 pages

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Over the past decade, numerous print media titles have been discontinued, with digital making inroads into the media landscape, decimating circulation and prompting a major overhaul of the entire publishing sector. Although the convergence of traditional media and New Media has resulted in a high level of integration, the relationship between print and digital has proved to be anything but symbiotic. Indeed, the expansion of digitisation has been at the expense of print media, with advertising allocations to newspapers and magazines declining from 40% to 29% within the space of ten years. While a recently released international study conducted by Future Exploration Network suggests that newspapers in the United States will be extinct by 2017, South African publishers believe that it will be more than twenty years before local printing presses are switched off. However, numerous stakeholders warn that the digital-driven demise of Seventeen South Africa, which printed its final issue in December 2013, does not bode well for the future of the sector.

This report focuses on print media publishing in South Africa, siccode 32420, with a specific focus on the publication of newspapers, magazines and journals. While the uptake in New Media has seen a growing number of media publishers place digital content behind pay-walls, the monetisation of online and mobile platforms remains a significant challenge. As digitisation redefines the traditional channels of media publishing, stakeholders are repositioning themselves to meet changing consumption trends. The year under review has been characterised by upheaval, with ownership of two of the sector’s major media houses changing hands. Sweeping changes are expected to continue, as players seek solutions to the challenges facing the industry.

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