Singapore’s magazine media industry racing to adapt to an increasingly digital landscape

The Media Publishers Association Singapore (MPAS) has released the findings of its first industry study carried out by global media agency OMD. 

Three overarching narratives which came out of the study were: the necessity of going regional / international to negate Singapore’s small market size; a human resource crunch within the industry; and the challenge of keeping pace with the evolving publishing landscape. 

“The future for publishing lies in digital technology; publishers across the world are trying to get their heads around how to be truly effective and are thinking multichannel,” said Chloe Neo, managing partner of OMD Singapore.

James Chen, executive director of MPAS said: “Social media fragmentation is just one example of the challenge which publishers face. Being on Facebook is no longer adequate with audience shifts to emerging social platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat, as well as mobile messaging platforms such as Line. Publishers have to stay ahead of the curve to remain relevant.”

Key findings of the MPAS-OMD study include:

  • 72% (13 respondents) said that they were seeking to expand out of Singapore, mainly because the local market is too small
  • 67% of the respondents mentioned that finding the correct human resource was the main challenge to business expansion
  • 50% of the publishers cited difficulties in getting in headcount for sales positions, while the other half mentioned that the problem was mainly in getting quality staff
  • Of the companies interviewed, the approximate revenue split between digital to print media was 58% and 42% respectively. Of these, 72% (13 respondents) were forecasting a growing proportion of sales revenue being generated from digital media in the next 3 to 5 years.
  • With the rapid growth in digital media, 67% of respondents enountered issues in their journey towards going digital. Problems ranged from a lack of funding and expertise, inadequate digital media understanding on the part of both employees and clients, social media fragmentation, difficulty in replicating success across multiple mobile platforms and the sheer rate of change in technology.
  • In terms of technological adoption such as eBooks, only 50% (9 respondents) were either looking to do so or have already done, while the other half did not see a future in e-books.

The MPAS-OMD study interviewed 18 magazine publishing firms within the country’s magazine publishing industry. It adopted a mainly qualitative approach to provide greater depth to some of the issues faced by Singapore publishers. Respondents to the study included firms such as MediaCorp and SPH Magazines. 

Download the MPAS-OMD Research Study.

More information from MPAS.

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