New World Press Trends report showcases publishers’ positive outlook amid uncertainty

2024-01-25. Against a backdrop of geopolitical instability, rapidly changing relationships with technology platforms and strategic questions raised by generative AI, the new WAN-IFRA study finds news publishers in a remarkably optimistic mood about the year ahead and their prospects further down the line.

by Teemu Henriksson | January 25, 2024

This resilient positivity is one of the key findings of WAN-IFRA’s newly released World Press Trends Outlook 2023-2024 report.

Just over half (55%) of the news executives surveyed for the report said they were optimistic about the next 12 months. Looking further ahead, the level of optimism rises slightly, with almost six in ten (58%) respondents saying they are positive about their company’s prospects over the next three years.

This marks a clear shift from last year, when the majority of publishers were pessimistic about the near future.

  • The report, “World Press Trends Outlook 2023-2024,” is available for WAN-IFRA Members to download for free. If you are a non-member and interested in the report or joining WAN-IFRA, please contact:

“Many publishers we talk to are clearly concerned about the ongoing challenges to the industry and their businesses – speed of transformation and innovation, diversifying their revenue streams, securing a sustainable business model, better understanding and engagement of their audiences and more,” said Dean Roper, Director of Insights and Editor-in-Chief at WAN-IFRA. “But there also has clearly been great progress on all those fronts, and others, in the last years to bring this level of optimism. And, certainly, this varies from region to region, market to market and publisher to publisher.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • Revenues on the rise: Publishers expect their revenues to grow by 15.2% in 2023, and by nearly 19% in 2024. Much of this confidence is driven by the expectation that continued investment in new revenue streams is starting to pay off.
  • Advertising the leading source: On average, advertising accounts for nearly half (43%) of respondents’ projected revenue over the next 12 months, with reader revenue comprising just over a third of their income.
  • Print continues to prevail: When combined, print advertising and circulation generate more than half (57%) of respondent’s total expected revenues.
  • AI top investment area: Nearly all respondents (87%) identified AI and automation as the leading area for investment over the next 12 months, closely followed by Data analytics and intelligence (86%).

“As our latest report demonstrates, publishers continue to contend with the juggling act of preserving all-important print and advertising revenues, while at the same time diversifying their income streams and exploring the possibilities that digital technologies like generative AI present,” said Damian Radcliffe, Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon and the author of the core analysis of this edition of World Press Trends. “This tightrope isn’t an easy one to navigate, but we are seeing examples of success and innovation around the world, offering potential inspiration for publishers large and small across the globe.“

  • The report, “World Press Trends Outlook 2023-2024,” is available for WAN-IFRA Members to download for free.

Methodology: The World Press Trends Outlook 2023-2024 report is based primarily on an online survey conducted between July and September 2023 among WAN-IFRA members and other senior media executives. One-third (66%) of respondents were C-Suite (CEOs, Publishers, Managing Directors), and another third were either Commercial Directors/Heads of Strategy or Executive Editors. We received 175 complete responses from 60 countries around the world. Using World Bank classifications, 58% of respondents were from developed economies and 42% from developing economies.


For more information, please contact Dean Roper, Director of Insights and Editor-in-Chief, WAN-IFRA:

ABOUT WAN-IFRA. WAN-IFRA is the World Association of News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists and publishers around the world to operate independent media. WAN-IFRA provides its members with expertise and services to innovate and prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. With formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, it derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 80 national association members representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries.

Teemu Henriksson

Research Editor

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