Tuesday, 17 April 2007

When little could be big for nationals - Zed Media comments on plans for a Guardian freesheet

There have been a number of stories / rumours about the Guardian looking to launch a cut-down edition that would target a younger audience. Newspaper cover prices are increasing, package size is also increasing and yet societal trends point towards people (especially the younger audiences) having less times and more choice. A 'Lite' edition with a lower cover price could be appealing.

With readership median ages of 40+ newspapers need to be doing looking at radical repackaging to attract the younger audience and I think the Guardian looking at these sort of things should be welcomed. My thoughts in this area are reflected in the text of the article:

'Nick Burcher, Buying Director at Zed, is more positive. "This is what newspapers should be doing," he says. "Online advertising is growing so quickly because they are able to target young people not targeted by traditional media. If newspapers can reach this audience better, there is an opportunity to take a share of that revenue."

But shouldn't publishers just plough more moeny into online products if their newspapers are losing readers? Burcher doesn't believe so: "Newspapers are great drivers. You can build coverage very quickly and cross-promote to drive people online."

Then there is the concern that the mini-version cannabilises sales of the parent newspaper. Here again, Burcher doesn't think this is an issue if it is executed carefully and sufficiently differentiated in design and content."


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