A local magazine popular among tech-savvy Vietnamese announced Friday that it will stop publishing two of its print weeklies from July to focus on online version. The announcement coincides with the Journalism Day (June 21) in Vietnam and takes place amid the context of a nationwide dwindling circulation in print media.
The e-CHÍP which has covered technology for a decade said in a farewell letter in its issue today that only e-CHÍP Mobile will be in print from next month, while the other two weeklies e-CHÍP and e-CHÍP Doc Xong Voc Lien can only be found online.
“We are ready for a new life online,” Huu Thien, e-CHÍP general managing editor, said. “We will try to make new progress in a new environment.”
This shows that Vietnam is no exception when readers are moving to digital platforms, leading to a drop in circulation and thus print ad revenues around the world.
Three of the biggest-selling sports newspapers in Vietnam – The Thao Ngay Nay (Sports Nowadays), The Thao TPHCM (Ho Chi Minh City Sports), and Saigon Giai Phong The Thao (Liberated Saigon Sports) – have recently had their daily circulation plummet to below 5,000 copies from the previous 100,000, Tuoi Tre has learned.
Many other newspapers are trying to make ends meet or have even ceased publishing due to competition from digital publishers, especially free online newswires.
“Vietnamese readers are not willing to pay for digital content while news is copied and pasted everywhere,” said Pham Phu Tam, editor-in-chief of a newspaper specializing in legal affairs, “so it will be understandable to see newspapers close down due to a shortage of revenues.”
Several newspapers have sought to diversify their revenue streams to survive, like leasing its office space or becoming more acceptable towards advertorial content, as admitted by Do Thanh Nha, editor-in-chief of the Phu Nu Thu Do (Capital’s Women) newspaper.
Print ad revenues have decreased by 9 percent over the last five years in Vietnam, the steepest in Southeast Asia, according to latest figures released early this month by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
Average annual advertising revenue per copy of Vietnamese papers is a mere US$15, the region’s worst performance, according to WAN-IFRA.
|The Vietnamese National Assembly voted Wednesday to lower the income tax imposed on print newspapers to 10 percent from an earlier rate of 25 percent, following appeals from local media, which cited shrinking revenues.|