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Media Intelligence : Media Trends+Strategy 2012
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au MEDIA Trends + Strategy MEDIA Trends + Strategy 71 newspapers Building on all platforms Paywall models will continue to evolve What do you consider to be the major issue impacting on the newspaper sector and how is it being addressed? Efficacy and transparency of the print medium lags other media, particularly given the changes and improvements they have made in recent years. The newspaper industry needs a better measure for audience, and circulation does not fit the bill. It’s important that we move away from circulation towards more accurate and representative metrics. This issue is being addressed by The Newspaper Works with a more accurate move to audiences across different platforms. Finding the right fit for a paid content model is the bete noir of most publishers – what do you see as the right mix? What is freely available elsewhere is highly unlikely to attract a paying audience. Where content is scarce, or where other factors such as ‘user experience’ can provide greater value for readers, we believe there will be a willingness to pay. More generally, we expect free and paid products to satisfy different segment needs and to therefore continue to co-exist. We also believe that any move towards charging consumers should be on the basis of additional value creation, rather than simply by locking up what is freely made available to consumers today – the former is a basis for building loyal long-term relationships with our readers, while the latter sacrifices the long-term outlook for short-term gains. What is the future of the paywall model in the australian market, can it be sustained and how? The new paywall models will continue to evolve but we do expect that the notion of a premium paid digital news product will persist. As some of the longer-term impacts of the new models become clearer, publishers will continue to tweak and alter their models, price points, and offers, but quality journalism has always had, and should always have a value for readers. How are you keeping advertisers engaged in print? The combined reach of the Fairfax network is a key value proposition for our advertisers. We’ve moved away from any platform centric approach to advertising, as well as product. We know our audience engages with our brands across a multitude of platforms and within our portfolio, print plays a very important role as it continues to draw a very attractive and engaged audience. We also believe that by leveraging the full breadth and depth of our portfolio of leading products, we are uniquely positioned to offer tailored solutions that meet the needs of our advertisers in a way that very few other media companies can. We call this our “follow the sun” strategy of delivering eyeballs across the day; on whatever platform they happen to be accessing our content. the social media layer of news engagement cannot be ignored – what is the upside and downside to this trend? The clear upside is a plethora of new content from citizen journalists who have smart phones and use them at all times. We can access never-before seen footage of news events as they happen. The other upside is that social media allows what were traditionally broadcast media to enter into “conversation” with our audience. Many traditional publishers perceive the downside of social to be the fragmentation and multiplication of media sources. We firmly believe that audiences will always follow media sources they can trust so we don’t see this as an enduring problem. Jack Matthews CEO Metro Division Fairfax Media What do you consider to be the major issues impacting on the newspaper sector and how is it being addressed? Fragmentation of audience and the ability to grow different revenue streams while managing a decline – which is finite to a certain extent – in print revenues. The ability to recognise that your newspaper is the same product as your website and build a strong business on all platforms and not at the expense of one platform over the other. Overall how is the newspaper industry handling the challenges of digital? I think to a large extent newspapers have been handling the challenges of digital since 1995, when The Age went online. Despite what people think, newspapers have been there first and have been dealing with the challenges first and have been dealing with it for two decades. It is not really about dealing with digital but with fragmented audiences and how they are consuming media. The idea that you need an iPad app, website and, yes, you need to cover those bases but it does not give you a successful business. I don’t think journalism has a challenge. The commercial challenge is to design advertising packages that break down silos, that reward sales people appropriately for success and that you attract the right people to your business. Finding the right fit for a paid content model is the bete noir of most publishers – do you have any insights into what the australian market needs? There isn’t a single answer because each company has a different philosophy set, readers, skills and company culture. There isn’t one answer that will suit West Australian newspapers which is aligned Yahoo in the same way that it will suit Fairfax. Each publisher will sort it out on their own terms to suit their audience. the social layer of news engagement cannot be ignored, what is the upside and downside to this trend? First of all don’t be afraid of it, rule number two – don’t be dismissive of it, and rule number three – get involved in it. Branding is an upside of social media. Personal branding of journalists, not just columnists that are smart enough to create a brand is great exposure for specialists. The downside is – who cares! That is part of the newspaper industry’s problem. This form of myopia and navel gazing must stop. When you work in technology, no one bothers with the downside, they just move on. Mark Hollands CEO PANPA p70-71_newspapers.indd 71 28/11/11 1:35:09 PM
MT Resource Guide 2011
MT Resource Guide 2012