Submitted by: Ulbe Jelluma 28/10/2016
The largest German media agency group - Group M, part of WPP - announced earlier this month that they will organise a full day session on the role of print media. The Print Summit is organised for Group M staff and external people.
We mentioned before that it seems that the role of print media is being re-evaluated by brand owners and agencies. After testing digital media, going full force into a Digital First strategy, it seems that this year a third phase of re-evaluation of print media has come. Sir Martin Sorrell's remarks, P&G's withdrawal of part of the budget from Facebook, Facebook’s over-estimation of the video viewing data and finally a questioning of the effectiveness of online media has made that the industry is re-evaluating the print options.
This feeling is perfectly expressed by Matthias Brüll, CEO of Group M in Germany: “We are in a transition period, in a vacuum. Our most important goal is to offer a better advice to our clients”. With an average age staff of 32-33 years, most of the Group M staff has not been brought up with print. Training and informing staff about print is therefore a key task of the agency.
Boris Schramm, group manager of Group M, mentioned in another interview that, because of the difficulties with magazines such as Der Spiegel, Stern, Focus and newspapers, a general perception has been created that print is in crisis, but that is not the case. And Schramm adds to that that the newspaper situation in the USA is very different from the German market. Expecting these developments to also take place is Germany is therefore stupid.
The Group M Print Summit includes presentations from scientists about the effectiveness of print media and also new research from publishers such as Burda, Condé Nast, Gruner + Jahr and Bauer und Rheingold.
News from the USA confirms the swing of the pendulum. As the US industry comes to terms with the fact that print is not dead - and that revenue from it might be easier to secure than digital - there are quite some investments in the newspaper printing industry. Partly this is due to a lack of investments in the last couple of years.
Completely new presses have been installed by Hearst, other publishers, like The Boston Globe, upgraded existing presses to make them more flexible, also refurbished presses have been installed at publishers. As an equipment merchant says: “this is a logical step of the newspaper printing industry to be prepared for the future to come”.
These are just two examples that confirm the fact that - after a period of 8 years - the pendulum is swinging again in the direction of print media.