by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : March 2006
26 | PaNPa bUlletiN March 2006 unrivalled opinion, comment and analysis, a time could come when readers picked up free papers dur- ing the week and only paid for a paper at the weekend. After conquering most of Eu- rope, Metro International has set its sights on the tough market of Germany, as well as China and more cities in Russia the US and South America. The company has ruled out Singapore and Australia as potential markets because of their restrictive foreign media ownership laws and the competi- tive markets. Metro International expects profit in each market it enters within three years and in markets where it has been established for longer, the papers typically have a 22 per cent revenue growth and 10 per cent profit growth. The com- pany is also looking at additional revenue streams, such as real es- tate and car supplements, and in- creasing its online presence. When the only option is going free After experiencing a 21 per cent drop in circulation one of London's oldest paid-for titles, The Bromley Times, converted to a free publi- cation. The Bromley Times', which is published by Archant London, circulation was down to 2466, but the paper will now go out to 80,000 homes. It had an upmarket re- launch and will still be available as a paid-for paper priced at 50p. As a result of the conversion The Brom- ley Times replaced the existing free paper in the area, The Bromley Ex- press. As part of the relaunch the pa- per is now more issues-led with expanded news, business and travel in the city sections for com- muters, as well as sports covering local teams and top London clubs. There are also more comment, opinions and letters pages. Many paid London newspapers have had problems with circula- tion and Archant London manag- ing director Enzo Testa's plan is to turn some of the most problem- atic titles in to a mix of paid and free publications to reach a wider audience. "We are not reaching the market and that's why we're doing what we're doing. There's no point in my guys doing a fantastic job and then a few thousand people buy the pa- per. That particular marketplace has changed and the existing titles are predominantly free," Mr Testa said. "This way we reach more peo- ple and saturate the Bromley mar- ket and also have it available for paid-for." The International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) has recognised the trend towards these new publications and pub- lished a report called "Free and 'Lite' Newspapers: The Answer For a New Generation?" It examines how these publications find their way into the lives of readers who often prefer the Internet to a news- paper, how they are distributed and how they are competing in the daily market. INMA project manager James Khattak looks at more than 20 free and lite newspapers, explains their rationale, and focuses on what makes them unique in the report, which was released on February 14. case Study: canberra’s cityNews The free niche publication model has worked extremely well for Canberra's weekly magazine CityNews. The free full-gloss news and lifestyle publication is now a joint venture between editor and former owner Michael Hawke and Macquarie Publishing chairman Ian Meikle, after Mr Hawke sold half his share in the business at the end of last year. After looking at their product the pair decided to start the New Year with a fresh vision for the publication and increased the cir- culation by 14 per cent to 40,000. Its readership stands at 100,000+, which is very loyal and has a very supportive and solid advertising base, Mr Hawke said. While many other paid publications are suffer- ing declining circulation figures, including the Canberra Times which dropped by three per cent between June and December 2005, Mr Meikle said it made good busi- ness sense to increase CityNews' numbers. "We were sick of seeing empty baskets," he said. "We have a dual approach to delivery. Half of the magazines go to inner north and south suburbs via letterboxes and the other half are distributed in government of- fices, shopping centres and real estate agents." CityNews has been revamped and this is paying dividends. "We came into the year with a fresh approach and were reward- ed by a higher level of interest. We have made a more conscious ap- proach to presenting a more as- pirational view of life to target our principal readership -- the female market," Mr Meikle said. "In Canberra a high percent- age of the workforce is smart, switched-on women and men. "The cover is more aspirational, with pointers and is livelier and our content is targeted to an audi- ence a little more aspirational than before," he said. With distribution to the city's 28 highest socio-economic sub- urbs and throughout the business hub, the publication's readership certainly has the means to spend on more desirable products. Ac- cording to CityNews' own Media Buyer's Guide. Canberrans are paid well in ex- cess of the national average and spend well above the national average. Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings in the ACT are $1194.10, which is 16.7 per cent higher than the national figure." CityNews holds a very enviable spot as a niche publication with little competition as it is Canber- ra's only weekly publication in full-colour gloss. Mr Meikle, who used to be the managing director of the Canberra Times, said the Times was a newsprint publica- tion where CityNews was printed on glossy stock. "That differentiates us and al- lows us to target a market that other publishers can't provide," he said. "We don't have any direct competition but live in differenti- ated harmony with the Canberra Times." Mr Meikle said the reason Cit- yNews has succeeded so well as a business model was because of its differentiated position in the mar- ketplace. "It has an intimacy with the city of Canberra and is the accepted brand in town," he said. "I used to run the Canberra Times and it's a fun business to be in. I don't have to worry so much about circulation." CityNews was established in 1994 and is an independent pub- lication in a similar vein to Mel- bourne Weekly Magazine, The Melbourne Times and Sydney's Courier publications. It is pub- lished on Thursdays and deliv- ered on Thursdays and Fridays. CityNews covers major issues af- fecting Canberra's population, interviews with local identities, business announcements, as well as dining, arts, entertainment, cul- tural events, book reviews, fashion, sport, employment and property. Its dedicated sections are: City- Property, The Canberra Review, CityMotoring, CityTravel and City- Features. Australian Bureau of Statistics census data reported that Cit- yNews' demographic circulation area comprised educated, profes- sional and high-income people including senior public servants, managers, business people and the tertiary educated. Independ- ent market research has shown Cit- yNews has a 95 per cent awareness level among its target audience, of which 93 per cent are readers of the publication. Like many publishers, Macquarie Publishing is exploring new revenue streams and read- ers who live outside the CityNews delivery area can subscribe to the magazine for $96 for 12 months (48 editions). Monthly gloss magazine Queensland Retiree is another from the Macquarie Publish- ing stable to receive the New Year makeover. Mr Meikle said the company mostly concentrated on niche publications in the ACT but was "always looking for new things" to widen its audience. “that differentiates us and allows us to target a market that other publishers can’t provide,” he said. “We don’t have any direct competition but live in differentiated harmony with the canberra times.”