World Association of News Publishers

New and emerging business models of newspaper printing companies

New and emerging business models of newspaper printing companies


  • For non-members: 250 EUR
  • For WAN-IFRA members: Free


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"New and Emerging Business Models of Newspaper Printing Companies" is a must-read for publishers and newspaper printers seeking advice from colleagues who are developing sustainable new ways of print production.

"This process is in full swing in many countries around the globe," said Manfred Werfel, Deputy CEO and Executive Director of Global Events for WAN-IFRA. "Many different concepts and print strategies are developing and there is no single business model that fits all needs. Most probably there will never be one master plan for newspaper printers, but a variety of different solutions that fit the market requirements and capabilities of printers in different geographic regions."

Nine years ago, WAN-IFRA brought out a Special Report on the separation of publishing and printing. It was based on the growing trend among publishers to identify their core competence and to separate print production from the publishing business. It aimed to identify the distinctive features of the then-current best performing printing strategies and also help newspaper publishers in developing effective business strategies that were best suited to their specific needs and markets.

Our new report continues where the 2006 research left off. It examines the main options chosen by newspaper printers in light of the developments that have taken place – how the change benefitted the publishers and printers, the hurdles and pitfalls they had to contend with, and how they see the way forward.

Industry representatives from around the globe responded to questions on how the situation has changed in the past five to 10 years, and talked about their own chosen diversification options. The various models under review were considered from the points of view of the rationale for change, the working process, achievements, constraints and the way forward. Through the insights provided by the participants, including tips on best practices and caution on possible pitfalls, we present a broad outline of the various avenues printers are branching off into.

For example, some printers turn their businesses into a publisher-owned profit center, others are based on joint ventures between several owners, and there remain large and independent newspaper printers in North America and in Northern Europe. There are also hybrid models. Newspaper printers are boosting productivity and extending their markets into commercial printing with the help of retrofits and new technology, new organizational concepts and new skill sets, which include the concept of providing an “Online Printing Service”.

We hope to stimulate a discussion among the print community, and we invite all those who are interested to give us their feedback and comments to shed light on other possible scenarios.

From the table of contents

  • Introduction: Forces of change in newspaper printing companies
  • Business model I: Profit centres owned by publishers
  • Business model II: Using external operators to run print shops
  • Business model III: Operating printing shops for various publishers
  • Business model IV: Independent printer
  • Business model V: Outsourcing to remote printers / publishers
  • Business model VI: Joint ventures
  • Business model VII: Online printers


IFRA Special Report
Susan Philip


WAN-IFRA's picture



2015-09-30 13:17

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