January 18, 2017 Last Updated 12:00 pm

Paid content reaches €276M in annual revenue in Germany

Guest column: Markus Schöberl, editor of pv digest, has published an excellent study of paid content in Germany, this post and its charts are translated from the original German (so, any errors are the fault of TNM)

German newspapers and magazines earned €276M per year with their paid digital products, pv digest said in its most recent annual market analysis. Twelve months ago the resulting total had been €242M. So, paid content turnover in Germany has risen 14 percent in the last 12 months – 70 percent from newspapers, with the share from magazines at 30 percent.

€194M in revenues per year means that German newspapers currently earn 4.3 percent of their total distribution revenues with paid digital offerings. (BDZV, the German newspapers association, says that German newspapers earn a total of €4.3B distribution revenue per year). The German magazines publishers association VDZ sees the B2C magazine distribution revenues per year in total at €3.2B. €82M paid content revenues is 2.6 percent of that sum.

Nine percent of the total of €276M is generated by BILD, the bestselling tabloid newspaper of Axel Springer. Twenty-one percent of German paid content revenues can be attributed to the national newspapers of high quality. Regional newspapers account for around 40 percent, while 32 percent is from digital only subs and 8 percent from digital subs as an addition to a print subscription.

The vast majority of digital revenue is generated with selling digital editions and replica editions (ePapers). Paywalls, though installed at around 1/3 of all newspapers, do not generate much revenues as stand alone offerings – and only very few magazines run paywalls at all.

Pv digest also tried to calculate the yearly paid content revenues of the most prominent newspapers and compared that to the previous years’ results. On average those papers managed to grow their paid content revenues with 41 percent. Die Welt (Axel Springer) leads in terms of growth rate. This is due to the combination of some circulation growth and a major price rise of 50% of their app-edition.

Background information:

How is this calculation done? Most importantly: absolute numbers are based on a calculation with data available in November. From there pv digest made a projection for the full 12 months. So, these figures are NOT a guess for January through December. The actual numbers for 2016 will be lower since most basic figures were growing between January and December. But in previous years pv digest used the same system and so that the numbers can be compared from year to year.

Epaper circulation is from IVW. Subscription pricing is researched from pv digest (single sales do not play any significant role) Bild and Welt also publish data of their paywalls and apps via IVW.

There is a whole bunch of app-offerings and diverse paid digital offerings from magazines where a vague assumption is made and adjusted each year according to average growth rates and background information. This year it resulted in a total of €28M which is a major part of the magazine estimate of €82M in total.

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