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press report Steady decline of Swiss media shows signs of stabilising

Despite declining revenues, Swiss media habits remain relatively conservative and print-based.

(Keystone)

Readership remains somewhat stable, while advertising revenues continue to fall: this is the latest appraisal of the Swiss media ecosystem by Zurich-based research group WEMF/REMP.

The figures released Tuesday show that a significant 93% of the Swiss population regularly read a paper edition of a newspaper. And although readership has fluctuated depending on region and publication, this figure remains largely similar to that of last year.

The research group found that the move away from paper towards online – though a reality – has also somewhat stabilised. As it discovered in its previous statistics, it says, the ratio of paper users to online users remains about two-thirds to one-third.

It noted that access via desktop computers slightly retreated, to be replaced by access via mobile devices.

Slight drop

The most widely-read publication, both in print and online, is the daily 20 Minutes. The newspaper, freely available and picked up especially by Switzerland’s numerous public transport commuters, boasts 2.9 million readers in German-speaking Switzerland, while it has gained 11,000 readers for a total of 476,000 in French-speaking parts.

This comes in contrast to most other ‘traditional’ publications, which have seen slight drops across most of the country, continuing a trend that has been clear for some years.

And if none of the changes in French-speaking Switzerland could be qualified as “significant,” according to the research group, several of the big German-language papers have seen steeper drops: tabloid Blick from 507,000 to 464,000 readers; Tages-Anzeiger from 461,000 to 417,000; and SonntagsZeitung from 628,000 to 581,000.

The figures will hardly be welcomed by a traditional press still trying to weather the effects of digitalisation. Overall, however, print media in Switzerland remains an important industry: according to 2013 figures, only Japan had a higher rate of print readership.


swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos

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