The digital age has certainly driven readers online in search of news, but for some time now questions have surfaced as to the negative implications for publishers who invest in quality journalism and reporting and have seen their earnings eroded by the re-publication of their original content for no reward by Internet giants such as Google.
- Licensing agreements offer French publishers access to Google News Showcase
Now comes the welcome news that Google France has reached a landmark agreement with an alliance of 121 national and local French news publications—Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale—to license their content for three years to the tune of $22 million. Individual licensing agreements will offer publishers access to Google News Showcase, a new press publications licensing programme giving readers access to rich content.
Pierre Louette, CEO of the Les Echos – Le Parisien Group and president of the Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale said in a press release: “After long months of negotiations, this agreement is an important step, which marks the effective recognition of the neighbouring right of press publishers and the start of their remuneration by digital platforms for the use of their online publications.”
Meanwhile, although there has been a decline in printed newspaper sales over the years, there are some good reasons to consider custom newspaper print solutions for corporate communications and marketing. The spread of COVID-19 has indeed seen companies trim marketing budgets and demand for print advertisements, wrought by the decline in corporate profits, shedding of workers, and price increases.
Most readers will agree that the tactile sensations—the feeling of opening and turning the pages of a newspaper—are irreplaceable. The reading experience on paper is still vastly superior and newspaper print remains more powerful to share ideas, whatever the objective of the paper.
- Newspapers enable image-strong corporate communications
To offset the loss of advertising opportunities in print, many companies have taken to promoting their products and services with an original, tangible product made in-house. Company newspapers can be sent to clients and partners, helping build strong and long-term relationships.
A printed newspaper enables image-strong corporate communications and strengthens brands. Corporate newspapers have the potential to keep colours, tone, and company culture consistent, win new business, and shore up client loyalty through instant recognition and personal connection.
While demand for printing is forecasted to continue declining over the next five years—as the era of e-commerce and digital marketing continues to expand—niche, high-value, collectable items in print are likely to remain valuable investments.
One unforeseen trend in the book industry, for example, has seen video sharing platform TikTok’s “BookTok” hashtag driving up sales of paper books, sending old books back to the top of bestseller lists, and launching the careers of new authors. Videos with the hashtag have been viewed a collective 12.6 billion times on TikTok.
As the news industry continues to evolve and re-shape itself—as evidenced by the Google France agreement—there is no doubt that newspaper print will survive. What’s more, newspapers have the potential to preserve values and promote social cohesion within community organisations such as schools, clubs, associations, and events, showcasing work and demonstrating commitment to quality. Newspapers are ideal in creating durable links with custom editorial content.