A survey of INMA members has found a curious split in the sense of urgency among news companies transitioning from predominately print to digital in terms of audience, product, advertising, and other revenue sources.

Detailed numbers will be discussed at INMA’s 83rd-Annual World Congress starting in New York City on April 28. But preliminary results show about one-third of respondents feel the changeover should be happening now, while another one-third feel they have two to four years of breathing room.

Only a small portion of the more than 250 respondents chose the middle ground, making the transition within the next year.

Regardless of that, very few feel they have much longer than four years to switch to a digital business footing.

JP/Politikens in Denmark is one of the companies already in transition. But Stig Kirk Ørskov, vice president and chief operating officer of JP/Politikens, said the company is more focused on getting the right digital content model than on a digital business model.

“Our objective has always been to make content that people want to pay for,” Ørskov said. “Being firm believers in building business on strong content, we consider our content to be the core asset in any digital publication. And that is why we allocate considerable resources in our efforts to create digital content that our readers are willing to pay for.

“The business models may vary from one publication to the other, but we are convinced that for any publisher, the only sustainable digital business models are based on quality content.”

A shift away from print advertising isn’t part of the plan anytime soon in India, according to Shrijeet Mishra of Bennett, Coleman & Company. Print advertising is alive and well in India, Mishra said, and that the focus isn’t so much on the move to digital as it is to keep print relevant.

“Innovating in and around print advertising and preserving this as a must-have option in the media buyer's basket through game changing innovations is key as well,” Mishra said. “Thus, our recent innovations such as Brand Capital, MediaNet, Alive (augmented reality), Activations, Integrated Brand Communication and Experiences campaign, print format innovations (talking ad, cut-out ad) have all served to ensure that print is seen as a vibrant, must-have medium.”

Among the next articles in this survey series, which continues next week as we get closer to the World Congress in New York City, is one that will look specifically at media companies’ print forecasts and how many are considering changing print frequency.

In the meantime, if you are a registered World Congress participant, check your inbox for a link to participate in the INMA survey. You can also send your thoughts on the digital question to imedia@wku.edu.