Date

Sat - 26.07.2014


Circulation and Readership

To paywall or not to paywall? That seems to be the most prominent question in the sphere online news publishing these days. In the discussions on the topic, the lines appear to be clearly drawn: on the one side are newspapers such as the New York Times or the Financial Times, which charge for their online content either immediately or after accessing a certain number of articles. On the other side are papers such as the Guardian, which believe that an “open” approach, more akin to the nature of the Internet, will eventually yield solid revenue.

The drawback of this way of thinking about digital publishing is that it may put too much emphasis on the question of paywall, whereas a different angle could be more helpful. GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram makes this point in a recent article, arguing that rather than defining the relationship with their readers through money, newspapers should focus on the relationship they have with their readers. When developed more fully, this relationship would then form the basis that could be monetised.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.editorsweblog.org

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2012-03-28 19:16

While most news publications seem to be facing financially touch times, the Economist is sailing on remarkably smooth waters. The publication has posted record profits over the last four years, Reuters reported, and contrary to the trend at most papers, its circulation kept growing during the second half of 2011.

As the Editors Weblog noted last November, more than 100,000 of the Economist's subscribers are digital readers - a notable achievement in convincing online readers to pay, although still dwarfed by the 1.49 million print readers.

But what is perhaps most remarkable about the magazine's growth is its rapid speed. Reuters noted that it took 161 years for the Economist to break the 1 million subscribers milestone, in 2004 (the paper was founded in 1843). Andrew Rashbass, Chief Executive of the Economist Group, told Reuters that he expected the Economist to reach 2 million readers within five years.

How has the magazine succeeded in maintaining such an impressive growth? Simply put, by having solid revenue model and offering content that is seemingly non-commercial by nature but for which people are willing to pay.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2012-02-20 10:35

News International has reported steady growth in the number of digital subscribers to the Times and Sunday Times since both publications went behind a paywall in July 2010.

According to News International figures, the Times now has 119,255 digital subscribers, and the Sunday Times has 113,818. At both publications, the number of digital subscribers to has risen each month since September, when the Times had 111,036 subscribers and the Sunday Times had 105,594.

The company claims that in January, on average, 59,882 iPad editions of the Times were downloaded per day - an increase of 35% since September 2011. The Sunday Times was downloaded on the iPad an average of 63,959 times a week - an increase of 80% since last September.

The Times has also launched a web app for Safari and Google Chrome that recreates the "newspaper-like" experience of the Times tablet edition.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-15 19:12

Just be yourself. Good advice for people, but maybe good advice for news organizations too?

Kerry Lauerman, editor in chief of Salon.com recently published a blog post, revealing that at the end of 2011 Salon had a record of over 7 million unique visitors, a figure that increased to 7.23 million by the end of last month. This number is up from 5.5 million uniques last August - a significant jump.

The secret? Focusing on original content rather than aggregation. "We've tried to work longer on stories for greater impact, and publish fewer quick-takes that we know you can consume elsewhere," writes Lauerman. As a result, Salon is actually publishing about one third fewer posts than it was one year ago, but generating about 40% more traffic.

Lauerman partly credits the return of Salon founder David Talbot for the publication's new direction, saying that his leadership was "enormously liberating". In an interview with Nieman Lab, Lauerman notes that Talbot fully backed the publication's turn away from aggregation. He "wanted us to be ambitious and aggressive and break stories that really matter to our readers", states Lauerman.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-08 18:45

The Daily Mail has overtaken The New York Times to become the world's biggest newspaper site, according to data from comScore.

Buzzfeed reports that in December 2011 Mail Online reached 45.3 million users, compared to 44.8 million reached by the The New York Times.

Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke told Buzzfeed in an interview that growing US audiences and the hiring of deputy editor Katherine Thompson, formerly of the Huffington Post, have helped fuel the Mail's boom in readers. The site has a strong presence in America, with permanent staff in New York and Los Angeles.

Most importantly, he says, "we just do news that people want to read." Clarke credits the Mail's roots in Fleet Street for its "entertaining, engaging way with clear, concise, straightforward copy and lots of good pictures."

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy criticized the The Daily Mail's claims to the top spot, saying that Mail Online only became number one by including its personal finance site ThisIsMoney in the total. She told BuzzFeed that if the Times counted readers of its other properties, such as the Boston Globe, it would still be on top.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-26 13:45

Sometimes a story's too long to be an article, too short to be a book. What can publishers do? Increasingly, the answer has been to publish e-singles.

The concept has been around for a while. Almost a year ago, the New York Times published an article about the Atavist, an app launched in January 2011 as a platform for long-form stories, enhanced with high-quality photography, videos and audio features.

Atavist co-founder Evan Ratliff described the gap his project filled in the market: "in the digital realm, there is infinite space, but somehow this hasn't resulted in a flowering of long-form content." Fellow founder Nicholas Thompson added, "the Web is good at creating short and snappy bits of information, but not so much when it comes to long-form, edited, fact-and-spell-checked work"

Other publishers had also been trying to appeal to the same niche. Amazon is credited with starting the trend, with the release of Kindle singles in January 2011. Byliner launched in April as a publisher and social network for producing and selling long articles/non-fiction stories. Traditional publishers including Penguin and Random House are also in on the trend.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 18:42

British tabloid The Daily Mail is broadening its online presence with the introduction of Mail Online India, reports Roy Greenslade in The Guardian today.

The new page is integrated into Mail's UK website, but contains content from Mail Today, a publication launched by the Daily Mail's parent company Daily Mail & General Trust together with the India Today Group in November 2007.

Mail Online India features Mail Today's logo on its banner, but it also reproduces large amounts of content from its British counterpart; the 'Femail' section, for example, is identical on both sites' home pages.

Greenslade writes that the new page is a "natural move for the Mail's ultimate owner" DMGT, considering its investment in the Mail Today. In fact, as Greenslade acknowledges, that investment is not so large. Indian law places restrictions on foreign media ownership and DMGT has only a 26% stake in the Dehli-based paper. But despite this relatively small share, Greenslade notes that in DMGT's annual report, published last week, the media group has promised to use its relationship with partners as a "foundation to extend Mailonline's presence in the market".

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-19 16:08

The UK Audit Bureau of Circulation's numbers are out for December, and the news isn't good for Sunday papers.

Across the board, Sunday newspaper experienced a decline in circulation, the worst hit being the Scotland on Sunday, with a 7.05 % drop. The least affected was The Observer, which saw a 0.03% decline in circulation.

The ABC numbers are all the more striking because they lead The Guardian to conclude that nearly half of the now-defunct News of the World's buyers have given up purchasing Sunday tabloids altogether.

According to Guardian journalist Mark Sweney, when the News of the World was closed in July, 30% of its circulation was not absorbed by the paper's rivals, suggesting that its former customers were simply not buying Sunday tabloids any more.

Now that figure has risen to the equivalent of 50% of the News of the World's former readers, as the sales that other Sunday tabloids picked up when their rival closed have decreased. Altogether, says Sweney, the circulation of Sunday tabloids has declined by 1,344,433.

The boost in sales that the News of the World's five major competitors experienced when the paper was shut down has declined by 30%.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-13 18:51

PULLMAN, Wash. - A study out of Washington State University shows that people who are frequent readers of a daily newspaper tend to be more trusting of others than those who read newspapers less frequently. The effect holds for both residents of small towns and big cities, even though researchers found small town residents are more trusting in general than city dwellers.

Continue reading on WSU News

Author

Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-12-14 10:02

Newspaper publishers need to quickly solve a troublesome equation. As carbon-based readership keeps dwindling, the growing legion of digital readers is poorly accounted for. This benefits advertisers who pay less for their presence.

Putting aside web sites audience measurement, we'll focus instead on the currently ill-defined notion of digital editions. A subject of importance since digital editions are poised to play a key role in the future of online information.

Continue reading on Monday Note

Author

Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-11-29 11:25

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