Forum of Russian Publishers opens in Moscow

The biggest annual event for Russia’s magazine industry has opened its doors in Moscow. The small but rapidly growing Russian print media market, worth about $US 4 BLN, attracts more investors every year.

Russia’s print media market is still in its early stages of development, but its growing fast – up 13% last year. And it’s attracting investors – foreign capital topped $US 2 BLN in 2006.

The leading media holdings include RBC, Prof-Media and Russian Media Ventures.

“It maybe a bit young in terms of comparison with markets in Western Europe and the U.S. but it is rapidly maturing. Now you have a wide variety of magazines available for consumers in Russia on many-many subjects,” approved Donald Kummerfeld, the President of the International Federation of the Periodical Press.

Alternative media sources – along with the free press – have introduced fierce competition to Russia’s main print media players.

Competition is driving publishers to innovative strategies to stay ahead.

Digital technology is an essential part of the print market in Russia. Far from being a competitor, the internet is now a tool that media can use to complement the print platform and to keep in touch with readers on a constant basis.

Another challenge for the market is to start producing and printing magazines in Russia. Currently, most printing is done abroad – in Slovenia, Finland and even Italy – due to a lack of infrastructure and specialised types of paper.

“We need to implement custom benefits on imported wood that is used for printing. So we could gradually create a developer paper industry in Russia. This will help to start printing magazines within the country and create more jobs,” added the Head of the Federal Agency for Mass Media and Communications Mikhail Seslavsky.