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The Print and Digital Media Publishing Sector
South Africa’s media publishing industry, which incorporates the publication of newspapers, magazines and journals in both print and digital format, was worth an estimated R21bn per annum in 2015. According to recent findings of the South African Research Foundation (SAARF), readership figures continue to decrease. An estimated 46.3% of the South African population aged 15 years of age and older are newspaper readers and 46.9% of the local population are magazine readers.
A Changing Environment
In recent years, enhanced broadband penetration, the high cost of printing and rising distribution costs have motivated the growing migration of media publishers to digital platforms. As a result, the traditional print media sector has been obliged to reinvent itself to avert cannibalisation by digital media sites. Media publishers, already grappling to find solutions to dwindling print circulation and shrinking advertising spend, currently find themselves in a rapidly evolving environment that is driven by the demands of social media-savvy consumers who increasingly expect succinct, bite-size snippets of news and immediate news updates. Stakeholders believe that the increase in tablet and smartphone ownership will result in exponential revenue growth in the digital magazine category with revenue predicted to increase from approximately R60m in 2013 to R370m in 2017.
The Print and Digital Media Publishing report describes current conditions and recent trends including the substantial investment into digital platforms that has seen print media publishers evolve into multi-media companies. The report profiles 34 companies, including the “Big Four”: Media24, the largest publisher of newspapers and magazines in South Africa; the Times Media Group Limited (TMG), formerly known as Avusa Limited; Caxton / CTP Publishers and Printers Limited, which has more than 130 community newspaper titles in its stable; and Independent News & Media South Africa (INMSA) whose Independent Online (IOL) is one of South Africa’s leading online news brands. Also profiled are e-learning companies, publishers of e-textbooks, journals and consumer e-books as well as electronic business-to-business publishers.