Russian Post showed a record increase in subscriptions in the first half of the year, increasing its catalog by 850 publications. The company was helped in this by the departure from the market of other large players – “Agency” Rospechat “” and the Agency for Subscription and Retail (APR). From 2022, Russian Post hopes to increase the gap by refusing to accept orders from the catalogs of other competitors. Publishers fear market monopolization and rising subscription prices. But the “Post of Russia” clarifies that they will stop providing services only for the collection and processing of competitors’ orders, keeping the delivery, and promise not to raise prices significantly.
The Post of Russia told Kommersant that in the first half of the year the catalog of its subscription agency (PAPR) grew by 850 titles, to 5.9 thousand publications. The company calls this dynamic a historical record. For comparison, 561 editions were added to the catalog for the whole of 2020.
Papr has existed since 2016, before that, Russian Post participated in the subscription market only as a logistics company. The agency is not separated into an independent legal structure, its financial indicators are not disclosed. PAPR organizes subscription campaigns for print media, works with press subscriptions for individuals and legal entities.
The record growth of the catalog in the Russian Post is also associated with the departure from the market of competitors – Agency “Rospechat” and APR. Kommersant reported on the termination of the work of Rospechat on February 24. According to the arbitration card file, on February 19, a bankruptcy claim was filed against the JSC from Pro Factor LLC, on June 10, the court ruled to introduce a monitoring procedure in the company. In recent months, dozens of claims have been filed against the APR in arbitration, most of them from the same Russian Post. Rospechat and APR did not respond to Kommersant’s inquiries. At the end of 2019, the Interregional Subscription Agency (MAP) also left the market.
“Rospechat and MAP each occupied 40% of the market in the segment of subscription campaigns for publishers,” notes Alexander Oskin, vice president of the Union of Printing Industry Enterprises (UPCI). “After their departure, the Russian Post agency actually became the largest player.” The Russian Post, according to the expert, has two notable competitors: the unified Press of Russia catalog (established by a number of publishers, including the Argumenty i Fakty Publishing House and the Komsomolskaya Pravda Publishing House) and the Ural-Press agency (deals with only by subscription for legal entities). Together they have about 3 thousand titles of publications, Mr. Oskin specified.
Publishers see advantages in the fact that Russian Post is becoming the main player in the market. “In a situation where publishers have twice lost money on bankruptcies of subscription organizations, MAP and Rospechat, the reliability of a partner is a determining factor. Now we see no signs of using a de facto monopoly position, ”says Lev Yelin, general director of the Lev publishing house. At the same time, Alexander Oskin fears that the subscription market will be monopolized by PAPR.
There are certain reasons for concern. Irina Degtyareva, deputy general director of the publishing house Komsomolskaya Pravda, told Kommersant that the Russian Post had notified publishers in June that it would not accept orders and serve subscribers in the Press of Russia catalog: in connection with the growth of tariffs “Mail” “. KP costs, according to her, will grow by 80%, which will force the publisher to raise prices as well.
The Russian Post clarified that from 2022 it will indeed stop providing other agencies with services for collecting and processing subscription orders, but will continue to deliver. The Russian Post does not see the risk of market monopolization due to the presence of large competitors. They also assure that a sharp increase in the cost of services due to an increase in the share of PAPR should not be expected: “The growth of tariffs for 2022 was kept at the level of 7%, whereas a year ago their growth was 10%.”