World Association of News Publishers

Preparing for the digital future

Preparing for the digital future

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Swiss-based Ringier makes three-quarters of its revenues from print, but believes the days of print are numbered, says company CEO Christian Unger.

Christian Unger, CEO of Ringier, Switzerland

Mr Unger presented a timeline that forecasts that paper will no longer be a significant media, compared to other media sources, in 2017 in the United States, in 2025 in Switzerland, in 2030 in Germany, and in 2027 and 2028 for much of the rest of Europe. By 2040, print will be insignificant around the world – a prediction Mr Unger acknowledges is provocative.

"With this is mind, we believe we need to reduce our dependence on print," he says. "With 75 percent of total turnover from print, that is something that needs to change."

For Ringier, that means concentrating investment in three areas: digital business, entertainment and events.

Mr Unger's presentation focused on how Ringier is expanding into television, into ticketing for events, and developing its digital properties, particular mobile and tables – nearly 50 apps already on the market.

Changing the business so radically is going to lead to mistakes, Mr Unger says – the goal is to experiment with different approaches in the rapidly changing media world.

"We've tried a lot of things in the last 178 years, and there were a lot of things that didn't work," Mr Unger says about the company, which employs more than 8,000 people worldwide. "We need to be flexible and reactive enough to get out of activities that no longer work, and not stick to them for a long time."

He provided the following success factors for developing business in these new markets:

-It's more important to be first and fast into markets than to perfect the product before launching.
-Partnering is more important than going it alone.
-You need to add value for every platform and every channel.
-Strong brands should be used across platforms.
-Different pricing models are necessary for different brands and platforms.


Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2011-04-11 12:00

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Here are the summaries of all speaker presentations at Digital Media Europe, that was held in London from 11-13 April 2011. Read more ...

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