Traditional media losing revenues to social media: officials

By Anh Tu   June 16, 2024 | 06:01 pm PT
Traditional media losing revenues to social media: officials
Nguyen Huy Dung, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, speaks at a forum on June 14, 2024. Photo by Le Anh Dung
Revenues are declining for the legacy media amid rising competition from social media, government officials and analysts say.

Newspapers and magazines saw revenues fall by 9.4% year-on-year in the first nine months of last year, Deputy Minister of Communications Nguyen Huy Dung said at a forum last Friday.

For radio and TV the decline was a precipitous 23%, he said. "Most broadcast companies are not using all their advertisement slots due to insufficient demand."

Some broadcasters sell advertisements for only a few minutes a day though the law allows them to use 10% of their broadcast time for ads for non-subscribers and 5% for subscribers, he said.

Advertisements remain the main source of income for media companies and could account for 90% of their revenues, he said.

But the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Google is taking away their customers, he said.

Some newspapers have tried to adopt a subscription model, but this is still new in Vietnam and the income is modest, he added. Analysts speaking at the forum also spoke about these challenges.

Nguyen Thanh Lam, another deputy communications minister, said his ministry plans to make changes to the Journalism Law to help improve media companies’ revenues.

One of these changes is a mechanism that would allow the government to pay for some content it wants to appear in newspapers, he revealed.

Other changes would tighten copyright protection since some media players have been affected by plagiarism for a long time, he said.

But the most important changes must come from the media companies themselves, who need to reconsider the way they practice journalism and make money from it, he added.

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