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Panpa Bulletin : April 2006
42 | PaNPa bUlletiN april 2006 Delivering What the Market Wants Going digital has been a profitable experience for Fairfax, both in terms of audience expansion and in finding new advertisers. "Our audience trusts our brand and is demanding delivery across platforms," Mr Cola said. "We have grown our audience reach in Sydney and Melbourne. It is still AB, but younger. Our core audience is AB 24-35 year-olds, a bit younger than the print au- dience. We are now starting to mirror the Australian demographic more. "Sixty per cent of smh.com.au's audi- ence is in Sydney and the rest is national and international. "We have developed new capabilities as well. We used to produce news once a day, but now with online we are moving towards 24/7 stories and we're not just using text, but video, audio and Flash," he said. Competition Obviously News Interactive and Fair- fax Digital are competitors, but these two publishers are also battling ninemsn, Sensis and Yahoo7. However, consumers use these sites for different purposes. It is easier to search on Sensis and read the breaking headlines on smh.com.au, and that is where Fairfax Digital positions it- self. "We are not in the portal market," Mr Cola said. "Our audience consumes more pages and we have a tighter demographic. We are streets ahead in that market." Where to Now? Fairfax has already been through a host of changes in the past 10 years since deciding to start a digital arm and is now looking forward for new challenges. "If you look and see what's happened in 10 years, we have changed our distribu- tion model and developed products and services to suit it," Mr Cola said. "In five to 10 years more platforms will become digital, for example radio and television, and those digital platforms will be used to get the message to market. "They will get faster and more ubiqui- tous and will allow Fairfax to have a much bigger canvas to paint. We will have a wider remit and will focus on delivering superb content. As we go forward we will stick to building great news websites and special interest sites like rugbyheaven and Realfooty.We'll develop more sites around areas of business, for example small busi- ness, and develop our city sites." The great online buying spree continued By Warren Page aPNNewZealandwillbeinvestingin the on-line advertising medium but rather than take over a site like rival John Fair- fax did, will grow its own brands. "Nothing has really changed for APN New Zealand as far as our competition is con- cerned," saysSarahSandley,APNNewZealand National Publishing generalmanager advertis- ing sales and marketing. "All that's happened is that Trade Me has a new owner." Trade Me, a New Zealand auction and clas- sified site, was purchased by John Fairfax Hold- ings Ltd for NZ$700 million. "Trade Me's focus is primarily consumer to consumer, and our focus is primarily business to consumer," said Sandley. "We don't see any immediate change to how we've been com- peting in recent times. "Our competitor's move mirrors our strat- egy of investing on-line. However, our prefer- ence is to grow our own brands. Over the next year, we'll be investing quite heavily in a series of sites under the Search4 brand, supported by our print titles. "On-line and print have already existed side by side for a number of years and APN still has very healthy volumes of classified advertising. The New Zealand Herald (the country's largest daily, based in Auckland) is, overall, stable (and up in a number of key categories like Real Es- tate and Motoring), and the Herald on Sunday and The Aucklander are writing new classified revenue that has seen our print market share grow. "We regard the Internet as complementary to our business because each has different in- herent strengths, and consumers have differ- ent preferences and behaviours. To be able to combine each, as we will with our print titles and the Search4 brands, will be a powerful way of maximising response and effectiveness for advertisers. "The other relevant point is that our mix of advertising revenue has changed year by year over the past 10 years as we've launched new environments like Canvas and The Business which have attracted more agency advertising. This development will continue." When further questioned about strategy Sandley said, "We have a clear strategy of in- vesting in our own on-line Search4 brands, and leveraging the powerful readership of our newspapers to drive traffic to the sites. As well, we are consistently creatingnew targetedmag- azine-style environments for advertisers to at- tract an increasing share of agency revenue." Asked what type of advertising was seen as most vulnerable to on-line take-over Sandley said that APN New Zealand did not foresee a "take over" by on-line services. ""Classifieds are not a single, uniform rev- enue stream," Sandley said. "There's a major difference between consumer to consumer classifieds -- which is where Trade Me is strong, and business to consumer classifieds, where newspapers are strong. "Trade Me has had an effect on the For Sale section of classifieds, which in itself is a subset of the larger General Classified section. How- ever, this (low) end of the General Classifieds business was largely vacated by metro news- papers years ago, as they could not profitably serve it." aPN NZ to grow own online brands EW Scripps president and CEO, Ken Lowe has outlined how TV and newspaper pub- lishers are extending their brands by creating innovative content for new platforms. EW Scripps is the publisher of 19 newspapers and a number of television stations across the US. "We are compelled to develop ahead of the trends, or we will perish," he said. Defining these trends and the industry's challenges is a consistent theme of late, and Lowe's take is that the industry is now driven by new media technologies that have been relentlessly evolving for more than two decades. He described three 'unstoppable media trends' - fragmentation of media, interaction with readers and a greater accountability to readers. "We have reached a zenith where content is ubiquitous and the consumer in charge," said Lowe. "The good news for us is that it is the quality of the content that gives value to high-quality devices - from Gutenberg to broadband that has always been so. But citizens have far more options and no longer have to reply on mainstream media." Adapting to this change does not mean com- promising quality and traditional journalism values, but is about developing new types of business built around the migration of ad- vertising dollars and eyeballs to the web. He said that local newspapers and TV stations are in a powerful position to build on their long-established relationships with readers and viewers. From journalism.co.uk Content still counts