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It is possible to save the Russian printed media market if to reform it according to the European model

In the framework of the XXV International media conference of PDA, held in Turkey, a round table "It is possible to save the Russian printed media market if to reform it according to the European model „took place. Moderators of the Round Table were Listevnik A. Y., "Distribution" NP Press Distributors sub holding’s Governor and Gavrilov S. D., General Manager of "ARPI "Siberia", a PDA Board member. It was attended by representatives of the publishing and distribution businesses.

Round table meeting was opened by A. Y. Listevnik with a brief presentation about the German press distribution system. In Germany, one administrative unit operates one wholesaler. Each wholesaler must ship all editions and guarantee the prices from publisher. Wholesaler’s margin is fixed. The main trend of the wholesale distribution market of the press in Germany is consolidation among wholesalers. Ten years ago there were 90, then up to 2013 their number decreased to 65. Maintenance of small areas is economically disadvantageous. Like all European markets, the media market in Germany declined (by 5.7 % in 2012). Due to the merger of wholesalers in a falling market an increase in the average turnover of one wholesaler does the job once again a profitable enterprise.
S. Gavrilov addressed the participants of the round table with the question about the probability of transition of the Russian system of distribution to the European model, noting that its value - are contracts with a publisher to service certain areas, fixed margin of wholesaler and retailer.
A. Fedotov, General manager of "Metropolitan press", commenting on the European model of press distribution, said that the European economy and the Russian economy - are two different things. The purchasing power of Europeans is significantly higher.
A. Oskin urged to change the direction of the discussion and offered to discuss the possibility of agent contracts instead of sales contracts in Russia. He addressed the audience with a question : "Does the Russian publisher ready to proceed to the agency contract? Does the publisher willing to take on all the costs of the distributor, to guarantee a minimum return to the wholesaler? If not ready, the Russian market will live in the old way".
Some participants objected against this thesis, noting that in Poland, for example, the wholesaler has its own retail network, and the margin of the final price is allocated between the links in agreement with the publisher.
According to G. Barinov, General manager of "ARIA-AiF", you need to determine: the Russian press market - is it the publishing market or distributor’s market. He appealed to the publishers with a question: when a distributor go bankrupt in Russia, its volume is distributed among the other wholesalers or it’s shrinking? For example, how far the turnover of press felt in Kazan after the bankruptcy of one of the most important players?
According to A. Y. Listevnik, the publisher should determine the structure of the distribution market. But today there are more than 1,000 publishers on the Russian market, 5-6 publishers play a crucial role, that cover 50-60% of the market. Sure, publishers compete strongly with each other, it is difficult to find a common solution. One alternative solution - wholesalers must unite and come to the publisher with the scheme of supply of goods to the regions.
It has been suggested that the market will pass away to equilibrium, of course, with some losses. Merge of publishers, wholesalers will take place. According to G. Barinov, we are now seeing visible prospects of this process, over the next 5 years it will grow.
In summary, A. V. Oskin said that either the market will reach equilibrium and structured with global losses of players and the loss of the market, or we will agree with you and make a smooth descent to the new system of distribution. The variant solution to solve the problem was proposed by creating a self-regulatory organization in the market.
In any case, said Oskin, implementation of agency relations at the Russian media market is an attractive way to save the industry. However, achieving this goal has not yet obtained due to sharp competition among market players - among publishers, as well as between the press distributors.