Media in brief
March 27, 2014
Digital Content to the Rescue
The financial results of major English-language newspapers for last year show that paid-for digital content can bring a substantial profit. Figures from the Financial Times Group, which owns The Financial Times, indicate that the paper has undergone a digital revolution. “FT.com digital subscriptions grew 31 percent to 415,000, more than offsetting planned reductions in print circulation,” the group said in its report for 2013.
Despite the financial problems that many newspapers around the world are experiencing, the Financial Times Group made a profit of £55 million last year, 17 percent up on 2012. The popularity of digital content has caused the combined sales of printed and digital editions of The Financial Times to increase 8 percent year on year and reach 652,000, which is the highest “paying readership” in the title’s history. Digital subscribers account for two-thirds of all the newspaper’s subscribers.
Changes for the better were also reported by the New York Times Company, the publisher of The New York Times. Last year, the company increased its operating profit from $103.7 million to $156.1 million. The number of subscribers of paid-for digital New York Times packages, online editions and other forms of digital content grew 19 percent to 760,000. Revenues from digital subscriptions were up 33.5 percent year on year and reached $149.1 million.
In Poland, paid access to digital content has been introduced by the publishers of the country’s three largest quality newspapers.
Tablet Sales Expected to Slow
Global sales of tablet computers are expected to rise 19.4 percent this year, according to the IDC market research company, which has lowered its sales forecast by 3.6 percent.
While the increase in sales—IDC expects 260.9 million tablets to be sold this year—is impressive, it is much slower than last year’s rise of 51.6 percent. At the same time, prices of tablet computers will fall more slowly than expected, according to IDC.
Consumers in Poland bought around 2 million tablets last year. Half the 1,500 consumer electronics retailers surveyed by the ABC Data company are expecting sales of tablets to increase at least 5 percent this year, and 40 percent are expecting an increase of 10 percent or more. The surveyed businesses believe that Android-enabled devices will continue to prevail on the market, accounting for over 60 percent of sales, whereas tablets fitted with the Windows 8 operating system are expected to account for almost 20 percent of the market. Tablets with 10-inch displays are likely to prove the most popular and buyers, corporate buyers in particular, will also search for tablets fitted with 3G modems. The ABC Data survey suggests that Samsung will remain the biggest player in Poland, followed by Apple and Asus.
New Free-to-Air Channel for Kids
Polish public broadcaster TVP has launched a free-to-air children’s channel. TVP ABC went on air Feb. 15, featuring a range of programs designed to foster young viewers’ curiosity and imagination. The channel screens Polish cartoons, educational programs, serials, feature-length movies and television theater productions for kids. The 7 p.m.-8 p.m. time slot is the channel’s daily “bedtime story hour”. TVP ABC is also screening learn-through-play programs Domisie and Lippy & Messy that teach English to preschool children through theater, visual arts, music and physical activities. A program entitled Dlaczego? Po co? Jak? (Why? What for? How?) introduces children to science through experiments conducted by instructors from the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, while the Moliki książkowe (Little Bookworms) program encourages youngsters to read.
For the spring TVP is planning an evening time slot for parents and a weekly news program for kids.
Apart from digital terrestrial television, TVP ABC is available on selected cable networks and satellite television platforms.
Child Alert System on RMF FM
Private broadcaster RMF FM is the first and so far the only radio station in Poland to team up with the National Police Headquarters on an emergency messaging system called Child Alert. The system is designed to quickly alert the public about children who are in danger.
Child alert systems have so far been launched in 10 other EU countries: Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania. Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico and the United States have similar systems.
Child Alert in Poland is operated by the National Police Headquarters Missing Persons Center.