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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
newspapers PAPERS TELL THE WHOLE STORY Commanding the largest share of advertising revenue, newspapers seem set to continue evolving to retain their position. The printed version is still the backbone of the industry in terms of readership and advertising and the Australian market appears to be more resilient than our overseas counterparts which is due to many factors including product investment as well as print and online synergy. The success of online versions has been ensured by masthead strength coupled with journalism quality. Most industry leaders agree that publishers will end up charging for content though the model may vary between papers and, where there’s a sizeable number of overseas readers, differential charging may be an option. Continuing to keep pace with consumer behaviour and their interaction with the medium is a priority for The Newspaper Works which recently announced the initiation of an open tender to develop a world standard newspaper readership measurement. This will likely incorporate measurement across multiple platforms including print, online and mobile content technologies in order to provide publishers and advertisers with the best metric available. Relevance and compelling content engage advertisers Joe Talcott Group Marketing Director, News Ltd made the list. Because of that, the medium – whether or not it is printed on paper in 10 years – is here for a long time. When Barack Obama was elected, newspaper editions sold out in record time as people wanted to hold on to that piece of history. Is this the future of newspapers – an interesting relic of the past? How are you pushing back against the negative perceptions surrounding the future of newspapers? Newspapers and the internet provide very different user experiences. The way I like to demonstrate it, is that there is nothing better than using online for searching – people realise this and that’s why it has had a big impact on newspaper classifi eds. If you are searching for a house, car or a mate, you can’t beat the internet. You put in your parameters, and there they are. You can’t do that in print. Even though internet users are browsing, it’s really a bad browsing medium. If you are reading a print product, and you are turning the pages on a newspaper, then you will turn the page and fi nd a story that is of interest to you: Not one that you would have found in a million years online, and the reason for that is that someone else has done the legwork, and sourced the information that in your own realm of what you think is interesting, wouldn’t have 57 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p56-59_newspapers.indd 56 p56-59_newspapers.indd 56 3/7/09 12:06:37 PM 3/7/09 12:06:37 PM It is possible, and it is one of the things we have to fi ght. If that is the only role they are going to play, then we might as well start closing things down now. The people who are doing it well are going beyond that historical milestone approach and delivering other things that people are interested in. If there is one issue with newspapers, it is relevance. If you hop on a train in the afternoon, you will see almost everyone reading a newspaper. It’s relevant, because it is: written to be read in the period of time that they are on the train; the right price – which is free; and because it’s actually written about things they want to read at that time. Where are the opportunities in newspapers – what sort of innovations are we seeing (or will we see) to bring back advertising dollars? We are working on attracting a better audience, which results in a better place for advertisers to be. We are also working on some concepts best described as the “MX model”. The idea is designing products for a specifi c occasion, rather than for broad-based geographic areas. You could describe MX as a commuter paper – it is designed for that occasion and there are other occasions that may be appropriate for print products. When you are talking about advertisers themselves, one of the transitions we are making is to be more engaged with them. Many advertisers are creating content that is sometimes more compelling than the publishers! So our response is to engage with advertisers and the audience and look at the best way to make this model work. The advertiser probably has more say than they used to in terms of how they use the media, not only in content production, but also in the ads themselves. What can we expect to see from News Ltd in the next 6-12 months? We are going to be extremely focused on doing what we do well, which is telling stories in a compelling way. We believe that is still what will grab and hold an audience and that is what will be important to advertisers. What Our circulation and readership are very positive on The Australian and we believe that a great deal of it has to do with the fact that things are happening too fast. You want to be reading the whole story – more than just the headlines because the story affects everyone. You have to be interested in what is going on.
MT Resource 2010