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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
newspapers For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au Shift in mindset needed Chris Wharton O, st Australian wspapers AN) Do you empathise with Murdoch’s statement that “Newspapers will never be the same” ? Media in general will never be the same. Certainly the fi nancial downturn has exposed the cracks in the American newspaper industry very quickly. While Australian papers have taken a hit, they are resilient and will bounce back. Do you think the subscription model is the way newspapers will monetise online content? Generating revenue from online newspaper content has always been tough; it’s been like pinning jelly to a wall. Subscription is a way to monetise online content, but how much money it will generate is moot at this stage. Because online content has in the main been free, you need to shift the readers’ mindset to accept that the offering now merits payment. Why is the Australian newspaper industry relatively sheltered? I’m not sure that we’re sheltered, but there are defi nitely different dynamics at play in Australia compared with the USA and UK. The Newspaper Works recently released some interesting statistics that pretty much tell the story. Those statistics show that advertising revenue growth in Australian newspapers is almost double the global trend and almost three times US ad revenue. In the UK ad revenue has declined. Australia enjoys the highest share of global ad revenues; 35% versus global newspaper shares of 28%. Readership in Australia is relatively stable and Australia has concentrated population areas. Readership concentration provides mass reach and papers provide mass reach in all major cities. For many reasons, along with the fact that we continue to invest in presses, technology and in product development, the Australian newspaper industry will be vibrant and profi table for years to come. What is happening at West Australian Newspapers in the next 6-12 months? Our new editor, Brett McCarthy, will work on the aesthetics and content of the paper, but is after evolution not revolution in The West. We will consolidate our recent circulation gains (the fi rst increase in circulation Monday to Friday and Saturday since 2001) and launch our co-branded news and information website which should be fi nished by the end of July. The benefi ts of the co-brand will be increased audience and traffi c (both in WA and Australia wide); having access to a national online news service/network while retaining local branding and delivering local content; and increased quality of content across all areas of the site. For advertising clients there will be opportunities to provide national reach across the entire Yahoo!7 network; better ad targeting tools (behavioural and demographic targeting); and access to Yahoo!7’s performance advertising system which disposes of unsold inventory. WAN will actively push and promote its online offering and show customers how they can integrate thewest.com.au offering with their newspaper activity. Clients demand innovation and value Philip McLean Group Executive Editor, Fairfax Media Newspaper Inserted Magazines (NIMs) are still a major part of the Fairfax off er. Is there room for more growth? We are always looking for new opportunities as they can be very effective revenue and circulation drivers. Our most recent NIM launch is Sport & Style in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, which has been well received by our customers. We are also continuing to focus on and develop one-off magazines in categories such as travel and personal fi nance. Is pay for content a reality and how is Fairfax approaching it? The debate around paid-for content online is gaining momentum and some traction around the world. I believe the next 12 months will be crucial in determining the direction publishers take. It is a very complex issue. Fairfax is approaching it the way most publishers are – working behind the scenes on models to achieve our business objectives. What will be the developments for Fairfax Media in the next 6-12 months? We have just announced the launch of a new online site called nationaltimes.com.au which will showcase the company’s political and national affairs journalism. Fairfax published The National Times as a newspaper for about 20 years until 1986 and this online launch revives a brand which is remembered for its intelligent and thought-provoking journalism. Is Fairfax emphasising the integration of online and print advertising packages? Fairfax has structured its sales teams to meet the changing needs of advertisers, taking into account a number of factors including size, geography, demand for multiple brands and desired frequency/depth of relationship. The Fairfax Integrated Solutions (FIS) team was established three years ago to provide a single point of contact for 30 of Fairfax’s largest advertisers across the majority of our mastheads and platforms (including digital). More recently, teams were created to provide a single point of contact across print and online in our key categories of real estate (Domain), jobs (My Career) and motors (Drive). Within the key categories, print/online packages are actively taken to market to cater for the transactional nature of client demand. These packages are promoted both within Fairfax Media and via extensive EDMs to existing and prospective clients. Within the FIS team, integrated responses are created on a case by case basis to showcase ideas across multiple media. What demands are being placed on you by the advertisers and/or their representatives? Fairfax operates a Business Development Unit (BDU). The BDU operates almost as an ‘agency’ within the business responding to both existing briefs on a needs basis and creating proactive ideas to take to market. In both instances integration of mastheads and platforms often occurs. An example is the Electrolux campaign for which Fairfax received the Best Media Owner Proposal at the 2007 Media Federation Awards. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, agencies and clients demand the optimum mix of service, understanding of business objectives, innovation and value. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 60 p56-59_newspapers.indd 59 p56-59_newspapers.indd 59 3/7/09 12:06:45 PM 3/7/09 12:06:45 PM
MT Resource 2010