After the world Friday, which increased the price of the newspaper by 20 cents, it was the turn of the Figaro to raise its rate by 10 cents on Monday, in the middle of summer. The two national dailies are now selling for 3 euros per unit. Increases justified by the crisis in press distribution and the collapse of the advertising market.
In today’s edition, Marc Feuillée, Managing Director of Figaro, and Alexis Brézet, editorial director, justify themselves: “The combination of our distribution difficulties and the decline in advertising has upset our economic model.” And add: “In order to continue our editorial mission and preserve our resources, we are forced to increase the price of your daily Figaro by 10 cents.”
Last week, the world had published an article similar to warn its readers: “Unfortunately, the impact of the crisis due to Covid-19 on our economic model with both a substantial and lasting drop in our advertising revenues and the cessation of payments from our distributor, the company Presstalis, requires us to find additional resources to guarantee the quality of our content as well as the financial independence of the newspaper. ”
Increasingly competitive digital subscriptions
For several years, the written press has had to face many difficulties that the health crisis has exacerbated. The first is the decline in paper sales volumes. Readers are turning more and more to digital by abandoning print editions. If the newspapers saw their digital subscribers multiply during confinement, this did not make it possible to compensate for the losses due to the restriction of travel and the closure of certain points of sale.
This new price increase for the two newspapers could further accelerate the transition to digital subscription, the prices of which appear all the more competitive: the entry-level price, for unlimited access to online content, is at 9, 90 euros per month at Figaro and 9.99 euros at World.
Fall in advertising revenue
The shutdown in the economy also resulted in a collapse in advertising revenue. According to a study published by the Institute for Research and Advertising Studies (Irep), they were down 12.5% in the first quarter compared to 2019. This is also explained by a decrease in its advertising pagination of 56% between March 16 and May 3.
This trend seems to be lasting: for several years now, the written press has been the big loser in the media advertising market. In the first half of 2019, all the press knew a decrease of 5% of its advertising revenue compared to 2018, again according to Irep.
Most dailies had already increased their prices in recent years, in part to finance a rescue plan for Presstalis. The main press distributor in France, the group was placed in receivership on May 15 before being taken over in early July by the dailies, supported by some magazine editors. The company which delivers newspapers and magazines to 22,000 points of sale is now called France Messagerie.