Publishers Compensate for Drop in Newspaper Sales with Digital Content

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Thursday, 05 September 2013

Print media is currently waning and publishers are seeing revenues plummet as a result.

However, many are now getting back on track by moving their content to digital platforms.

For example, while the print sales of regional newspapers in the UK has been falling over the past few years, their websites are seeing a significant surge in readership.

According to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, three regional newspaper publishers – Johnston Press, Newsquest and Trinity Mirror – have passed ten million monthly online readers in the first half of 2013.

Edinburgh-based Johnston Press, which is 246 years old, recorded more than 11 million visitors including those of the Scotsman, Yorkshire Evening Post and Sunderland Echo.

The firm saw online visits to its websites rise by 13.6 per cent compared to the same period of 2012, with the Halifax Courier increasing its online readership by a fifth in the past year.

Trinity Mirror is a major publisher of regional titles and its portfolio includes the Birmingham Mail, Wales Online and the Manchester Evening News. The organisation saw a year-on-year rise of 5.8 per cent as browsers of its websites reached 10.61 million.

The Liverpool Echo was the biggest winner, with the website seeing a 28.6 per cent rise in hits, to 1.6 million, compared to the first six months of 2012.

Meanwhile, Newsquest, which owns the Northern Echo and the Lancashire Telegraph, recorded monthly unique internet visitors jumped 24.6 per cent on the same period in 2012, to 10.9 million. The publisher owns and runs the Brighton Argus website, which boosted its monthly readers by almost a third compared the first half of last year, to just over 547,000.

Indeed, the Paisley Daily Express was the only title to see a rise in physical newspaper sales in the six months to June 2013, highlighting how vital it is for publishers to offer digital content for their readership to complement their print offerings.