Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Has the Sunday Times price rise been counterproductive?


The Sunday Times has had a number of cover price increases in recent years. Media Week used their 'Off The Fence' feature to ask if this price rise is counter-productive. My comments were featured:

The following was published:

"YES - NICK BURCHER, BUYING DIRECTOR, ZED MEDIA

Newspapers need to recruit younger readers and £2 a paper will prove too much, especially when there are a myriad of other (free) news sources. Rather than applying blanket price increases, publishers may be better off charging for supplements. This model is successful in Europe and would give more choice for consumers, better targeting for advertisers and will raise newspaper circulations."
The full submission is below:

"YES – recent cover price increases for the Sunday Times are counter productive

Over the last 5 years the price of the Sunday Times has doubled from £1 to £2. Paginations have increased, but over this time circulations have gone down and the readership has got older. Newspapers need to recruit younger readers and £2 a paper will prove too much – especially when there are a myriad of other (free) news sources available.

There will always be a market for quality journalism, but rather than applying blanket price increases, publishers may be better off exploring other avenues such as charging for supplements. This model is successfully used in Europe and would give consumers more choice, advertisers better targeting and newspapers’ higher circulations. The success of Web 2.0 and new technology such as PVR’s, I-pod’s etc have shown consumers’ desire for the ability to self-edit. Exploring routes like this may be far more productive method of sustaining long term health, rather than relying on regular cover price increases in conjunction with ever larger papers and free DVD / wallchart giveaways."

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