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The Press in Ukraine: market with a great potential, but not easy one

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World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

The Press in Ukraine: market with a great potential, but not easy one

There are more than five thousand different titles regularly printed and distributed in Ukraine. Five titles have an audience of more than one million: they are three of the most popular daily newspapers (namely: “Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraine”, “Segodnya”, “Facti i Kommentarii”), social-informational weekly newspaper “Argumenti i facti” (Arguments and Facts) and “Telenedelia” (TV week) magazine. What does it mean for Ukraine – to have an audience of one million readers? This is approximately 16% of all inhabitants who are sufficiently skilled to be able to read or 2% of the whole Ukrainian population.

The first five web media with the biggest audience are as follows: Korrespondent.net, Football.ua, Podrobnosti.ua, Segodnya.ua, Kp.ua. The reach of  each of them is approximately 10 times less than the reach of any of the printed newspaper leaders. But the growth dynamics are impressive: from 2007 till 2011 internet coverage has grown by 27%. At the same time newspapers lost 16%, and TV lost 2%.

Total number of people who are reading newspapers and at the same time consuming information from the Internet has grown by 6% during 2007-2011. The number of newspaper readers has decreased by 19%, but the number of those using the Internet as the only source of information has grown by 21%.

Total sum of advertising money at the Ukrainian market in real figures is $1.03 bln (expert estimation of the really paid bills). Market share of the press is around 30%.

Growth potential for Ukrainian media market is described, first of all, by the total number of inhabitants – 45.6 mln. Adult Ukrainians are quite well educated – everyone can read, and a very high percentage of people have got a higher education. Different research results are show that mass media occupy third position of the confidence level after the church, relatives and friends. Ukrainians are very often asking for information and for advice not only from those people whom they trust, but also from the mass media – before they are buying, voting, or making important decisions.

This demand for quality information is one of the most important fundamental aspects of the big market potential.

The second part is the economic foundation for growth. During 2008-2009 the economy of Ukraine was seriously influenced by the world financial crisis. Aside from the sharp decrease in many world markets and thus export decline, national currency (Ukrainian hryvna) lost nearly half of its value. Economic recovery will lead to an advertising volume increase – i.e. to the growth of the media market. And this growth will be higher than the growth on well established European markets and other countries’ markets, which were less influenced by the crisis. Even now we can see the proof for this in Ukraine – 2011 results have shown that the total volume of the advertising market measured in the national currency already reached the same level as it was before the crisis.

The main difficulties for the Ukrainian media market development are: weak press retail network with insufficient points of sale, relatively low buying ability for the majority of population, historically difficult access to public information, unwillingness of people in different positions to disclose information and to work with journalists and mass media.

Average decrease in the number of copies sold during several last years is approximately 3-5% measured in numbers of copies. But there is no decrease measured in local currency because retail price is rising from year to year due to inflation, material costs, petroleum, logistics price increases.

Main market perspectives – press retail point of sale network development (Ukraine has today more than 8 times fewer retail points of press sale than, for example, neighboring Poland has). As well it is important to create new unique products, very well targeted towards the needs of a specialized audience. It is known from the experience of many titles that such a unique proposition provides a possibility to rapidly increase audience.

Mergers and acquisitions are also actively going on. It is becoming possible to consolidate not only assets, but also audiences – both at national and regional level. Those consolidation processes and fast new titles appearance and growth will continue in future because there is an objective deficit of quality information and professional journalism on the market.

Author

Alexei Pogorelov's picture

Alexei Pogorelov

Date

2012-05-21 15:20

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