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Buyer Behavior: Can mainstream newspapers re-capture the elusive


What determines where and how people consume their news? ... Is changing consumer behavior making news 'objectivity' impossible or undesirable? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Buyer Behavior: Can mainstream newspapers re-capture the elusive

Buyer BehaviorCan mainstream newspapers
re-capture the elusive young reader?
  • Heather Lamm
  • VP, Strategic Development
  • MediaNews Group Interactive
  • April 12, 2005
  • Leeds School of Business

  • Media consumption among young adults
  • Implications for newspaper industry
  • Case Studies Newspaper attempts to reach young
  • Access Atlanta (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
  • Orlando City Beat (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Red Eye (Chicago Tribune)
  • Bias (The Denver Newspaper Agency)
  • Blue (Centre Daily Times)
  • Key questions and recommended actions

Readership Trends Declining across the
population but especially among young adults
  • Generation X and Y Born 1966-1976 and 1977-1994
    and comprise almost 40 of the US population
  • Reading habits are generally fixed by age 30.
    Since 1972 newspapers have had progressively
    lower levels of regular newspaper readership
    among young adults
  • Forty percent of single-copy buyers are 18-34
    years old only 20 percent of subscribers are in
    that age group.

Not surprisingly, the Internet is gaining readers
as traditional media sources lose readers
The Denver market follows the national trends
  • More than a quarter-million young adults (ages
    18-35) in Denver spend at a rate of 7.7 billion
    annually, or 32,895 per capita.
  • Between 2001 and 2003, The Denver Post and Rocky
    Mountain News lost 41,470 readers (17) between
    the ages of 18 and 35.
  • We are facing wave after wave of young
    consumers who are increasingly indifferent to
    print. Theyre steeped in gadgetry, have money to
    spend, and see anywhere from 6,000-20,000
    marketing messages in a single day. Getting these
    folks attention within traditional print media
    is tough work.
  • Current core DNA products do not have the brand
    elasticity necessary to support a product with
    the authentic edge and tone needed to engage and
    entertain younger demographics. To move beyond
    the core audience, we must move beyond core
    products. We must create an entirely new brand.
    (Denver Newspaper Agency)

Changing industry dynamics are also impacting
newspaper readership
  • News aggregation
  • Google, Yahoo, etc
  • Brands of aggregators rather than newspapers
  • Other industry analogies?
  • Crisis of mainstream media credibility (and
  • Jayson Blair/Steven Glass
  • Expert opinion versus the wisdom of crowds
  • The rise of blogs
  • Passive versus interactive media
  • Lecture versus conversation
  • Search capabilities
  • Finding what you want when, how and where you
    need (classifieds, event listings, restaurants,
    weather, traffic, etc)

What are the implications of these trends for
  • Declining ad revenues
  • Declining circulation revenue
  • Unwillingness to pay for content online
  • Loss of identity as voice of community
  • Loss of local monopoly
  • Consolidation (corporate) and fragmentation
    (niche publications and websites)
  • Varied attempts to capture digital audience
  • Digital editions, newspaper websites, niche
    publications, etc

  • Model and focus
  • Print insert in Thursdays AJC stand alone on
    racks Online free (with newspaper)
  • Entertainment focus with long lead time for
  • Differentiation
  • Large marketing budget (for newspapers!)
  • Advertising seen as source of credibility
  • Content is looser than newspaper but not too
    hip You guys dont have the street cred to go
    that far.

  • Model and focus
  • Website (separate from Sentinel website) limited
    print edition ad based business model
  • Entertainment focus with heavy promotion of drink
    specials, free music downloads and O-Lens
  • Differentiation
  • Web-centric model with heavy emphasis on Search
    we over-estimated interest in the print
  • VIP card and drink specials O-Lens and the shock
  • Free classified ads for merchandise under 1000.

RedEye http//
  • Model and focus
  • Separate weekday tabloid paper, 25 cents/copy,
    fixed inventory for advertisers online
  • National and local news focus with deeper
    entertainment and celebrity content
  • Differentiation
  • Aggressive user feedback has led to distinct
    personality and voice
  • Paid model/honor boxes
  • Advertising seen as credibility
  • Cross promotion with other Tribune properties

Bias - Denver Newspaper Agency
  • Model and Focus
  • Bi-weekly, 24-to-32-page stand alone edition
    online site events/promotions
  • Distributed free to key nightlife, student and
    commuter zones in downtown area
  • Voice the sound of young adults taking on life,
    love and work confessional, topical and
  • Differentiation (pre-launch)
  • Sometimes its a hip magazine. Sometimes its an
    online forum. Sometimes its a daring promotion.
    Its always a total P2P marketing vehicle. But
    its never boring.

Blue - State College, PAhttp//
  • Model and focus
  • 5 days/week print edition with website
    complement primary goal of driving readers to
    Centre Daily Times
  • Content confusion - no clear focus but too much
    sex and profanity?
  • Distribution confusion- Wrapped around CDT at
    first, tabloid later
  • Website confusion - Five minute blue?
  • Differentiation
  • ???

Buyer behavior and news
  • Consumer behavior
  • What is driving the shift of consumer consumption
    of news?
  • What determines where and how people consume
    their news?
  • Is the decision-making process different for
    younger readers?
  • Content and medium
  • Is changing consumer behavior making news
    objectivity impossible or undesirable?
  • Did newspapers drive young readers away or did
    young readers respond to and maximize the new
    online medium?
  • Television remote vs. cable TV vs. Tivo
  • Distribution
  • How does the shift in consumer behavior from
    passive to active consumption change the way
    content is disseminated, displayed and
  • What does that mean for the newspaper industry?

And finally
  • What are some of your suggestions for how
    newspapers can recapture these young adult