NewsMediaWorks hits out at ‘gloomy’ PwC print forecasts

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 1 July 2019

The news media’s peak industry body has questioned the validity of pessimistic forecasts for print media by professional services group PwC.

Peter Miller, NewsMediaworks CEO, criticised predictions in PwC’s Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook (AEMO) report released last month.

The report shows a 20% decline to $450 million from 2019-2023 for print advertising.

However, NewsMediaWorks says this is based on an “inexplicable” accelerated decline by PwC given the forecast for 2014-2018 shows lower declines at a compound annual rate of -11.5%.

“A key component in the continued viability of news media is advertising sentiment, which is being negatively impacted by the gloomy PwC print media forecasts,” Miller says.

“NewsMediaWorks has a firm grip on the revenue realities and prospects of its members and we have already successfully managed the transition to digital and have strong and growing audiences across platforms.

“We look forward to reviewing the current forecasts with PwC.”

Miller says there isn’t any specific concern with PwC’s methodology, but rather it is the “gloominess” of the results he’s questioning.

However, PwC stands by its findings, noting it’s been publishing the AEMO report for two decades.

“We stand by the methodology used in our local analysis, which takes the Standard Media Index as a base line and incorporates data from other third parties to model five-year industry forecasts,” a PwC spokesperson says.

“We welcome industry feedback and will engage with NewsMediaWorks to explore their concerns."

Miller says NewsMediaWorks has had on-going concerns with PwC’s forecasts on print advertising but has decided to voice them now to stem any further damage to print media, which he says advertisers are embracing.

Current members of NewsMediaWorks include News Corp Australia, Seven West Media, and Nine.

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