The agreement between PRISA and Amazon to send its printed newspapers, including ‘As’ and’ Cinco Días’, to readers’ homes irritates the more traditional partner of the press.

Kiosk in the Plaza del Carmen, in Gijón.  Tremendous metaphor, huh?

For centuries newspapers and newsstands have maintained a symbiotic relationship: if your business is good, mine too. But these days, when the technological paradigm shift and the irruption of the internet threaten both, there seems to be no room for nostalgia.

This Friday, the PRISA group has announced an agreement with Amazon so that the multinational US logistics hand out printed newspapers What The country, As The Five days directly to customers’ homes through their Amazon Prime Now service. In summary, the subscriber – from Amazon, not from the newspaper – will receive the issue in less than two hours, or in less than an hour paying 5.90 euros.

The news did not sit well with the most traditional partner of the newspapers. Rafael Artacho, president of the Association of Press Sellers of the Community of Madrid has called hours after the announcement to the kiosks of the region to assess the agreement between PRISA and Amazon.

“We have noted the discomfort, indignation and disgust that this measure has aroused,” explains Artacho to EL ESPAÑOL, “we believe that it sets a precedent for the rest of the editors and this worries us.”

A lady buys the press at a Madrid kiosk.

A lady buys the press at a Madrid kiosk.
Alex Griffin

After decades – in which the editor had just written the page, it was sent to the printer and from there to some vans that met at dawn on the outskirts of the city to load the newspapers and that they were before 7:30 in kiosks throughout the province- PRISA and Amazon have replaced the last piece of celluloid in this sequence.

Trying to avoid the death of paper, the publishing company could be forcing that of the kiosks, but the sellers will not remain idle.

“First we are going to inform all sellers of this action, we understand that it will create discomfort and that The country is going to see quite damaged in its exhibition in our points of sale, we are not going to consider it a free newspaper anymoreor for the seller “, says Artacho,” although of course it will continue to sell because our clients come first ”.

And the thing is not there: “We are going to write a letter to The country asking that they be given to us the same conditions and the same treatment that they give to Amazon: if they are going to give away the newspaper for twenty days, we will demand a similar campaign at the points of sale so that we too can reach new readers ”.

The pilot experience will start on Sunday, April 23 in the Madrid metropolitan area and plans to expand to Barcelona in the coming weeks, basically because are the only two cities where Amazon Prime Now provides service nowadays.

From the Catalan capital, Cristina Anés, president of the Professional Association of Press Sellers of Barcelona and Province, believes that “this is bad news for our sector, which is going through one of the worst moments in its history and the worst is that those who do us the most harm are the editors, that with these actions they have just sunk us ”.

The president of the APVPBP understands that “we cannot go against the current of new technologies and changes in the habits of society”, but at the same time she believes “inconceivable that such important groups reach these agreements that only benefit them without having the account the damage they do ”to the newspaper vendors, after all,“ their first customers, ”sums up Anés.

This newspaper has contacted Amazon’s Spanish parent company to find out if they plan to expand this type of agreement with other publishers, but has not yet received a response.

How much will this mean for both parties?

According to the latest OJD data, from 2016, El País sold an average of 47,929 copies of its Madrid edition from Monday to Saturday and 77,396 on Sundays. These figures suppose between 26% and 30% of what they sell in all Spain.

As for AS, it sold an average of 32,568 copies of its Centro Edition -which covers Madrid and its surroundings- from Monday to Saturday and about 40,348 on Sundays. In both cases, 27% of your sales at the national level.

This change in the logistics-technological paradigm it would not only affect kiosks as final sellers, also to the distributors between the printing press and the points of sale, which in this case has been held by the Boyacá company, since 2013 under a monopoly regime endorsed by the Council of the National Competition Commission.

Currently there are in the metropolitan area of ​​the capital about 1,580 points where you can buy the newspaper, including supermarkets or food stores, of which 700 are part of some type of professional association.