Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A way for newspapers to improve content and increase circulation?
The BBC Magazine asks, "How can papers afford to give away DVDs?" The answer as attributed to media critic Roy Greenslade: "They can't, at least not if they want to make money." The article goes on to say that DVD giveaways and like promotions are mere ploys for "very short circulation spikes." Where "Editors hope people will buy the paper for the DVD and become loyal readers, leading to long-term stability," most people seem to be buying the paper solely for the giveaway. "It's getting to the stage in a few years where you'll get a free newspaper with your CD or DVD," continued Greenslade. So from this article, it seems that giveaways are not the answer to maintaining or attracting more of a readership.
But the format of the article itself gives insight into a way in which newspapers could attract readers.
It was printed on the BBC's website in a section called "Who, What, Why?" which allows reader feedback and questions, some of which are answered by the BBC for further investigation into a story. Feedback for this particular article, for instance, included a suggestion that the BBC do a piece on the DVD retail market. Some was quite telling of how consumers feel about newspaper promotions; people get annoyed at having to watch the advertising at the beginning of the DVD and real news readers hate finding their paper full of inserts and giveaways. One said straight out, "Perhaps they should stop giving away freebies and start concentrating on content."
That is what it comes down to: is a newspaper's function to publish outstanding content or is it to sell papers through any means necessary? Maybe by including their readers in such a way as the BBC has done, newspapers will improve content by learning what their readers or potential readers really want and will conversely be able to sell more papers through this attention to public desire instead of luring them briefly with giveaways.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Italy: Newspaper launches men's lifestyle supplement
Italian publisher RCS will launch the men's lifestyle magazine Style Magazine on October 14, reports Publicitas. The monthly magazine will be a supplement to RCS's daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. For the first issue 1 million copies will be printed.
The Style Magazine will cover trends, culture, consumption, fashion and entertainment and thereby focus on luxury products. On the first day of its appearance every month, it will be sold together with the paper for 1,20 Euro (30 cents more than the paper normally costs). After the first day of publication, the magazine will be for sold optionally with the paper for 2 Euros. To promote the launch, RCS initiated a huge television, radio and press campaign that cost 5 million Euros.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Denmark: paper to attract readers with "lifestyle" inserts
An article on Poynter by Ernst Poulsen links us to a Danish newspaper that is taking innovative strides at integrating news and entertainment in the same package . As of the end of the year, the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten will transform its sections such as travel and sports into magazine-style inserts with "articles that focus on meeting readers' needs." It will continue printing national, international and business news in its traditional first section. The paper's editor explained that lack of time in the morning prevents people from really reading the paper and by the time they get back to it in the afternoon, the news is already a day old and they have probably got the information from the Internet, TV or radio at some point between breakfast and dinner. The logical solution was to add sections that would entice readers to pick up the paper again in the afternoon - and maybe they would even browse through the first section at the same time.
In closing, Poulsen, points out that during the past 10-20 years, they have "moved toward providing more analysis and lifestyle and less 'instant' news. It may be that newspapers survive -- without the news." This is certainly a feasible situation and the move towards tabloid-sized papers may be the start.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
France: Le Parisien launches business supplement
Le Parisien, a daily newspaper for the Paris area (daily circulation about 350,000), launched a business supplement. The 50-page supplement will be included in the paper's weekend edition, reports Der Standard. 12 journalists are working on the supplement. Also Aujourd'hui en France (daily circulation about 150,000), the national edition of Le Parisien, will contain a 20-page business supplement. The supplements will focus on three sections: companies, finances and employment.
What is interesting about this initiative is that the supplement is focused on readers' needs and not only on advertisers' interests.
Monday, September 05, 2005
UK: Regional paper launches 'fresh' features to attract new readers
The paper introduced a new 12-page supplement called Fresh. As the Huddersfield Daily Examiner states, Fresh is "all about going out and having fun. Each issue will feature a rundown of the latest movies, listings for nightclubs, gigs and comedy, an in-depth look at the local bar, pub and music scenes, plus food and shopping features." In contrast to the traditional day of Friday for entertainment the supplement will appear every Monday. The paper did not have a supplement on Monday before. Jenny Parkin, head of content, said on HoldtheFrontpage: "We wanted to give Monday a specific new identity. People can buy the paper and plan their week of fun ... It is aimed at teenagers to 30s, but we hope that everyone will be interested in it." The first issue of Fresh will contain a "free bottle of beer for every reader offer" and a text-only competition where readers can win a Playstation, reports HoldtheFrontpage.
Another new feature is the new weekly series "Your Village" that will run up to next Spring. The series is about entertaining histories of the villages around Huddersfield. The paper stated that the series is a response to feedback from readers who are interested in local history and nostalgia. In addition, a mini-series about Huddersfield hangings is planned to appear soon. Other subtle changes were introduced in response to readers' feedback. Jenny Parkin said on HoldtheFrontpage: "Some readers tell us they find our headlines a bit too big and black. So we've looked again at the typeface and chosen a slightly different one that's a little softer and friendlier-looking." Loyal readers will also have the chance to win a BMW. To participate they have to send in 20 tokens from 30 printed in the paper in September.
Friday, August 26, 2005
UK: Newspaper trying to attract women
According to Brand Republic The Times is relaunching its T2 daily supplement as Times2 and hopes to attract female readers to purchase the paper. Times2 will have more pages, more colour pages and new ad formats. New sections will include style, health, sounds and men. According to Brand Republic this is "the first time the paper is running an ad campaign specifically targeting women to back the relaunch. The £1 million-plus campaign ... targets a cross-section of women: professionals, housewives and mothers."
Source: Brand Republic
Friday, August 19, 2005
Germany: Newspapers entering the book market
German Süddeutsche Verlag, publisher of Süddeutsche Zeitung, made a turnover of 30 m Euro by selling books, CD, and DVDs, reports the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Books published by the papers Süddeutsche Zeitung and Bild accounted for 4% of the market in belletristic literature in 2004, writes NZZ. The success is likely mainly due to low prices. Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes "Süddeutsche Bibliothek", a selection of 50 novels of the 20th century, sold 11,3 books, the publisher reported recently. The books are sold for ca. 5 Euro. The "Süddeutsche Diskothek", 50 books including CDs that cover each a pop star from 1955 to 2004, sold 600.000 only two months after its launch. In the beginning of August the paper announced the start of its new book series that is aimed at the young and children.
However, in contrast to other countries like Italy, books and newspapers are not sold together. According to Goethe Institut it is forbidden by German law to couple buying a book to buying a newspaper. That seems to be a reason why Süddeutsche Zeitung or Bild sell their books separately. They are only loosely connected to newspaper: for example, the Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes accompanying reviews to every book. The books are sold in book shops, news stands and online directly through the publisher. As a consequence book sales will not boost newspapers sales directly. But on the other hand, it helps to strengthen the brand and brings it to younger people. And, of course, book sales revenues help financing the paper in times when advertising is in decline.
Also the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had plans for a book series. But as pressetext reported on Friday, the series will not appear due to problems with the books series' editor Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Enzenbergers' former employer, the publishing house Eichborn Verlag, accused him of leaving the company before his contract ended and, finally, won.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Germany: print supplements on blogs and young readers opinions
Germany’s fifth largest newspaper, Rheinische Post, has launched a new bi-monthly supplement titled Opinio, which consists thoroughly of web-postings, written and reviewed by its readers. The newspaper hence follows a new trend that has already been utilized by other German media corporations, such as Bremen4u, mostly to attract young readers. The printed version Opinio stems from the website of Rheinische Post, where writers of the Opinio weblog have to registers and may thereafter write short articles on any topic they please, or comment on their fellow readers’ postings. The articles are classified in various sections on Opinio’s website, varying from a forum by “student for students,” general interest, such as reviews for newest movies and exhibitions, family, and work life, to topical sections for politics and business news.
Impossible to know when the supplement was launched this year and how many pages for each supplement!
Source: Opinio via Jean-Frédéric Farny, SPQR, in France
Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on July 13, 2005 at 04:21 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, f. Supplements and give-aways, n. Online strategies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Diversifying a newspaper's products for profit
Rising advertising sales despite dwindling circulations has been a common occurrence in the newspaper business as of late. Last week, Paul O'Halloran, general advertising manager of the UK's Manchester Evening News (MEN), outlined his company's approach to making this seemingly backwards trend work. Poynter tells the story of how MEN diversified its product, ultimately gaining sales and advertiser satisfaction. Since November, the paper has split into morning, midday, and evening editions accompanied by a free morning paper, magazine style inserts, and an afternoon commuter focused version. On top of that, the paper's website and deals with TV and radio have made MEN's product attractive to advertisers, the very advertisers that will keep the paper afloat as O'Halloran essentially predicted the end of paid circulations: "There will be (fewer and fewer) people buying the newspapers and there won't be a revenue model there. We have to give the newspaper away for free."
Posted by john burke on June 15, 2005 at 02:51 PM in c. Multimedia convergence, e. Compact vs. broadsheet, f. Supplements and give-aways, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
US: niche products and Intenet save newspaper advertising
Found on Editor & Publisher, Merrill Lynch has released not so stellar results for the US newspaper industry's first-quarter advertising revenues. Predicted to rise 3.3%, ad income fell short by .3%. The printed press grew about 1.5% but Merrill Lynch said that much of this growth came from new products such as Hispanic publications and weekly papers. Web advertising exploded, increasing 40% "(saving) the quarter." The report emphasized the switch to online advertising with Google and Yahoo's incredible first quarter ad revenue growth (109 and 47% respectively), and a report by a major auto manufacturer who said that they are dedicating 25% of their ad budget to the Web.
Source: Editor & Publisher