Daily Management Review

Newspapers and books are more profitable than technologies


Even though high-tech is rapidly developing today, it’s high time to invest in printed newspapers and books. Over the past five years, MSCI World Technology Information, currently unites quotes of 157 high-tech companies, has added about 92.5% to value. Similar index of WHSmith, the oldest British seller of printed products, was twice as much during the same period.

Despite the fact that the whole business world is spying upon Apple, Facebook, Twitter or Google, it is still much reasonable to invest in the newspapers, books and magazines. It’s true at least for the UK Seller WHSmith, which has existed for 188 years. The company sells newspapers, magazines, books and other printed products in kiosks located in major stores, railway stations, airports and seaports, hospitals and gas stations.

According to Bloomberg analysts, value of the British company’s shares has grown by about 232% over the past five years. This allowed the company to surpass the technology sector in profitability indicator. During the abovementioned period, MSCI World Technology Information, shows an average cost of 157 technology companies from around the world, grew by only 92.5%. This index includes IT-giants such as Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, IBM, Intel and Visa.

Meanwhile, the global book industry revenue in 2015 amounted to 148 billion US dollars, surpassing other media content sources with an impressive revenue of 322 billion US dollars.

Globalization of the book industry has intensified in the last five years. Not only it affected the old, traditional players such as publishers and distributors, but also created good conditions for new market players, namely, technology companies. The trend towards consolidation of traditional publishing structures is characteristic for different regions of the world, and various countries from the US to China. They are particularly evident in Europe (Spain, Italy, France, Russia), where large publishing corporations control a significant share of mass and educational sectors.

In fairness it should be noted that traditional publishing group is a patchwork quilt of a variety of imprints created once as family enterprises, with their own publishing program. Common to them are functional structures, including finance and distribution.

Processes taking place in publishing English-speaking countries, countries of Western and Eastern Europe and in emerging markets (China, India, Brazil and Russia) are characterized by specificity of national laws, the reader's behavior, pricing, general state of the economy and level of access to the Internet.

The largest book market comprises the most developed countries of North America and Western Europe, Japan and Korea, and Brazil, China, India, Turkey and Russia, which are quite advanced in relation to size of readership and rate of growth.

The modern book market in 2015 was distinguished by stabilization of "paper - electronic content" pair. Most non-English speaking European markets, according to local trade associations, observed little or no increase in consumption of e-books in the last two years (2014th and 2015th).

On the other hand, the traditional book publishing in the past five years have seen a steady decline - from mild, as in Germany or France, up to a pretty impressive, as in Spain, Italy, Greece and Sweden. There was no country other than the United Kingdom, where the fall in sales of paper was not compensated by digital growth.

source: bloomberg.com, wischenbart.com, global-ebook.com

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