Tag Archives: newspapers

News Corp Reports Revenue Decline

News Corp, the publisher of newspapers including The Times and The Sun, has reported a 2.8% decline in revenues for the quarter ending 30th September 2013 with a decline in advertising being blamed for the decrease.

In the first quarter since News Corp was split into a highly successful entertainment company and a less profitable publishing business earlier this year, the latter’s net income rose from a loss of $83 million last year to a profit of $38 million. However, year-on-year annual sales actually fell from $2.13 billion to $2.07 billion, falling short of the $2.18 billion total predicted by analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: www.advanced-television.com/

The news division, whose portfolio includes titles in the US, the UK and Australia, saw advertising fall 12 percent and revenues from circulation and subscription decrease by 6 percent with the Australian papers accounting for the largest decline (a 22% drop in sales).

In response to the results, Robert Thompson, News Corp’s chief executive, was keen to highlight that the company is in a period of transition with the brands’ evolution into digital content providers key to its future: “Our first quarter as the new News was the beginning of a journey in the digital development of the company. We […] are transforming our publishing operations longer-term into multi-platform businesses [and] we are even more convinced the company will thrive as the company becomes more digital.”

Paid websites represent a key part of this strategy – it is now three years since The Times and Sunday Times websites went behind a paywall with The Sun following suit earlier this year. While it has been a controversial approach at odds with that of the highly successful Guardian and Daily Mail sites, News UK argue that the indisputable reduction in visitors is compensated for by the quality of the data they have on their subscribers and, therefore, the level of targeting which they can offer advertisers. However, from Four’s point-of-view, this reduced traffic makes it difficult to reach a sufficient number of people on more niche areas of the site relevant to our clients, such as the Property section.

In addition, News UK has identified the iPad and tablet apps as central to a strong digital offering, with increased functionality and a wider range of creative advertising solutions being planned for 2014. With Tesco’s £119 Hudl tablet tipped to be a strong seller this Christmas, we believe that a presence on apps will become increasingly important to many of our clients in the coming months.

Climbing the Paywall

It is common knowledge these days that newspaper print is declining as people switch to online alternatives. The rise in the smart phone/tablet market means that consumers now demand up to date, quality news at all hours of the day. What does this mean for the future of news?

Online news, providing rapid access to news content at any time of the day would seem great for consumers, but is it? With declining circulation and readership figures across the industry, the future looks bleak for printed newspapers. News brands’ financial prospects are under threat as revenue for online advertising is not being fully monetized yet. While news brands’ experiment with new business models to try and revive their finances outside of print, the dilution of content reduces the quality of the content published as journalists are being stretched thin. The expectation to write more articles in a shorter time period unsurprisingly impacts the quality of what is being published.

Online News, Newspaper Paywall

Source: www.sprout.nl

The Times and The Sunday Times were the first publishers to adopt the paywall model which is when the consumer pays a subscription fee to access the online content. This was considered suicidal at the time by some; however the model is beginning to flourish with the number of online subscribers increasing 45% between the end of March 2012 and March 2013, to 140,000. Many other rival publishers, including The Sun, have followed suit with the paywall model. Consumers’ paying for their news will ultimately benefit from higher quality service and content as newspapers are able to afford to keep quality journalism a high priority. And besides it is hardly a new phenomenon for consumer to be expected to pay for their news content. What is surprising is how long the idea has persisted that one group of people are paying for printed news, while another group receives the same content for free online.

It seems inevitable for news brands to implement some kind of ‘pay for online content’ system. Chris Blackhurst, content director of the Independent and Evening Standard, believes that it is only a matter of time until all online national newspaper content goes behind a paywall. Studies suggest that this transition will occur over the next three years while 27 per cent of media companies said that they expects significant shift in profit margin increase over the same three year period. There are still unanswered questions and much speculation looming over the pay wall for online content which we will report on as clarity unfolds.