Wither traditional media?

June 17, 2010

AMAZON-KINDLE/Pity paper and ink. Over the next five years magazine and newspapers’ advertising and consumer spending (read: subscriptions)  growth rate is expected to decline, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm released its annual Media and Entertainment Outlook for 2010-2014 and that is one of the more striking, if not predictable, data points in the forecast.

In fact, magazines and newspapers fork in the opposite direction of other traditional media like radio.  PWC predicts that television,and radio, along with the Internet, video games and out-of-home are all expected to pocket advertising and subscriber dollars  with  growth rates increasing over the 2010-2014 period.

Another category  that has taken a beating but is expected to rebound? Books! PwC estimates the consumer and educational book publishing industry will advance 2.5% in the five year period to $35 billion.

The growth in book category should offer some cheer to newspapers and magazines executives. For the consumer book segment, electronic editions are anticipated to jump more than 23% to $1.3 billion. Granted that growth spurt comes off a small base of dollars to begin with, but still.

“People who download on proprietary devices” — like the Kindle — “read a lot more books — in orders of magnitude,” said Tim Corrigan, a partner in PwC’s  entertainment and media practice. “It changes the model significantly. Your hard core readers in many cases prefer the convenience of an e-book.”

That could bode well for magazines and newspapers which are working hard to make digital editions available on e-readers and tablets.  Though it doesn’t seem like PwC figured that  into its forecast. For newspapers and magazines consumer spending (i.e. subscriptions) is expected to decline over the five-year period 1.8% and 0.6% respectively.

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