Discussion Papers

Manfred Knoche, Axel Zerdick u.a.

Die Wirtschaftlichkeit der Verlage und der Postzeitungsdienst
Nr. 68 / Juni 1991
(no longer available)


Within the framework of a more extensive study of the postal newspaper and periodical delivery service in Germany the economic situation of publishing houses was examined. The issue behind this study was whether publishing houses have to depend on indirect subsidies in the form of non-cost-related tariffs in the postal newspaper and periodical delivery service. On the basis of several different sets of statistical data, the results of this study show that publishing houses on the average are in a favourable economic situation and are not in need of subsidies; this is also true for different types of publishing houses (newspaper publishers, publishers of periodicals, and other publishers) as well as of publishing houses of different sizes. The cost of postal delivery fees in relation to total sales of publishing houses is very small. In consideration of this relationship, even substantially higher rates in the postal newspaper and periodical delivery service would not endanger the profitability of publishing houses.

Careful analysis of this relationship, however, shows two additional important implications. First, particularly non-commercial periodicals (like those produced by non-profit organisations for their membership) have to be considered in not only economic terms. Second, particularly high circulation newspapers and periodicals published by strong commercial publishers a able to make use of different distribution channels. Higher rates in the postal newspaper and periodical delivery service could be counteracted by these publishers by re-channeling their distributions systems. This problem has been the issue of another part of the study, which will be reported in a later publication.

Discussion Paper is no longer available.

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