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The main issues of press distribution in Europe and Russia

The VIII International Conference of press distributors organized by PDA with the support of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communicationswas opened on June 5 in Moscow, at the hotel "Cosmos". A meeting of the European Round Table, which was attended by representatives of distribution companies and leading public media organizations of UK (Press Distributors Forum), Spain (DISTRIBUIDORA ROTGER, FANDE, UDNE), Italy (SODIP, Messaggerieperiodici) and Russia (PDA) was held within the Conference.

Initiating the round table meeting, Chairman of the Board of PDA  A. V.Oskin reminded, that the tradition of such events was born 7 years ago by the initiative of PDA during the "Distripress"congress.Besides the constantly participating representatives of the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Russiain the meetings, distributors from Germany, France, Brazil, Portugal and other countriesalso participatedin the round table in different years.

Today, noted A. V. Oskin, we decided to expand the number of participants and invite the leaders of Russian publishing houses and distribution companies, representatives of Moscow authorities, journalists to this meeting. Thus, our meeting is attended by more than 50 people, who have a direct linkto the problems of the press market.

A.V.Oskin gave the floor to Jose Manuel Anta, Executive director of FANDE - Federation of National Associations of PressDistributors (Spain), who presented the situation in the Spanish press distribution market to the participants, described its features, talked about the main trends in the distribution system in the present conditions, shared his experience in supporting the retail distributors of newspapers and magazines. A substantial report "Market distribution of newspapers and magazines in the UK," was presented by the General managter of Press Distributors Forum Michael Newman (England). He analyzed the principles of distribution of printed materials in the UK, the nature of the business relationship between publishers and national and regional distributors. He told about the working public associations of publishers and distributors in the country, their plans to protect the interests of market players.

General manager of the nation's leading distributor SodipPiero Alberto Danion (Italy) presented a report on the Italian system of distribution of newspapers and magazines. As in many European countries, he said, the Italian distribution system of periodicals is based on the following formula: publisher - national distributor - a local distributor. There are about 100 national and local distributors, about 1,000 media outlets, which do not form a single network. Recently, turnover and profits in the industry are falling, the prices of publications are falling, sales turnovers are reduced. For these reasons, sellers find themselves in a situation where they can not pay the wholesalers. In order to solve these problems, measures are being taken to expand the range of related products.

Today drinks are allowed to be sold at the media point of sale. In this regard, "Coca-Cola" sets the refrigerators in kiosks. Another novelty is the fact that the newsstands began selling toys for children. It contributes significantly to the profitability of the stalls, as in the evening toys can be bought only at the kiosks as the shops and supermarkets are closed.

A recycling program for unsold runs without a real return of their publishers is implemented in Italy. 30 million euroswere allocated for these purposes, special equipment was purchased.With it every single copy of unsold copiesis recorded, which prevents the possibility of reuse.

PDA’s President D. V.Martynov’s speech on "Distribution of the press in Russia" was met with great interest on the part of foreign and Russian participants of the round table. He elaborated on the situation of the domestic industry of distribution of printed media, talked about forms of government support for the industry. Commented on the actions of publishers and distributors to introduce new methods of preservation of the market through innovation, diversification of business. Particular attention was paid to measures that should be implemented in order to maintain a popularization of the business in Russia.

The General managerof the independent distributor Messaggerieperiodici Lorenzo Mauri (Italy) shared his thoughts on how digital media influences the sales of printed books and how the distributors are diversifying their business. He confirmed earlier estimates of the narrowing of the print media, the need to expand the business to maintain a range of services to consumers. In particular, he demonstrated the specific steps of a number of firms of different European countries and the U.S. companies to include pharmaceutical products in its range, the development of logistics services, ability to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, the inclusion in the list of an assortment of textile goods, including jeans and etc.

Various questionswere asked during the discussion of the reports. Thus, Michael Newman explained that there are no specialized press kiosks in the UK. Any retailer can trade newspapers and magazines if they follow the assurance that it will take to sell a specified minimum amount of periodicals. Mr. Newman also said that the money received from the recycling of unsold runs, is returning to the publisher.Spanish colleagues explained that in order to improve the profitability of distribution business authorities allow sellers to expand the range of related products.

Piero Alberto Danion, responding to a question on the opening of new kiosks, said that the procedure is spelled out in the legislation of Italy. Kiosk must belong to a natural person. Retail premises should not be installed in close proximity to the same outlet. It is necessary to take into account the population in the area. In general, said Mr. Danion, it is important to keep the number of press stalls. Today 1000 booths are closed. Unfortunately, it is planned to open only 500 new kiosks in the near future. Foreign colleagues asked a lot of questions to President of PDA on organizing subscriptions to newspapers and magazines: how the prices for the periodicals in the retail and subscription differ, who determine the final price - the publisher or distributor, etc. D. V. Martynov gave comprehensive answers that reveal the characteristics of the organization of the press market and the relationship between publishers and distributors in Russia. On the outcome of the conference, the meeting adopted recommendations. They emphasized the need to protect and promote freedom of speech, freedom of the press and periodicals distribution system as vital values of modern society, the violation of which constitutes a real threat to democracy.The paper gives estimates of the current state of the press market in Europe, with recommendations to power structures, publishers and distributors of newspapers and magazines, and discusses the need to implement additional measures to facilitate the effective functioning of the distribution system of periodicals.Summing up the results of the Round table, the permanent Chairman of the forum Jose Manuel Anta praised the level of the reports, the usefulness of the exchange of views and frank answers to questions. Currently, continued Mr. Anta, the rights of pressdistributors are championedin different waysin different countries: somewhere social organizations of distributors are functioning, in the other - there are no such associations. In this connection it is appropriate, he said, to create a pan-European public professional association that could coordinate the efforts of all distributors in the conservation and development of the print media.

This initiative has met with the unanimous support of the participants of the meeting.



Press service of PDA