Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Why Voice Personals Are Growing So Fast

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Why Voice Personals Are Growing So Fast

Article excerpt

Some Facts on Usage, Revenue and Reader Use

In 1991, many newspapers either began their foray into audiotex or chose to enhance their already existing voice information services by offering voice personals to their respective communities.

Those who were able to push past publisher indifference, editorial disdain, or corporate skepticism regarding voice personals have started to reap a tremendous reward in community good will and enhanced readership as well as substantially increased revenue.

Monthly call minutes have ranged as follows: Newspapers with circulation: * Monthly Call Minutes:

   Over 1 million                 45,000-50,000
  175,000-500,000                 15,000-35,000
   75,000-174,000                 10,000-35,000
   61,000-74,000                   5,000-10,000
   38,000-60,000                   1,000-5,000

*Actual figures compiled from Scherers Communications Inc. client base.

These call minutes translate into yearly net revenue of between $6,000.00 and $540,000.00, depending upon the individual newspaper's price structure.

On top of this revenue potential that is certainly difficult to turn away in any economic climate, we have received hundreds of positive comments from consumers across the country who are using the voice personals service offered by their local newspapers.

For instance, an advertiser using the Columbus Dispatch Dateline in Columbus, Ohio, has been so impressed by the quality of responses generated by her voice personal ad that she has decided to incorporate $20-$30 in her personal weekly budget to continue using the Dispatch Dateline. She says it is worth it to meet some great people and have a dinner companion one or two nights a week.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal's feature called Personally Speaking already has four marriages to its credit. The overwhelming response by those who have used the service is to be amazed at the high-quality individual who is responding. Comments such as "very nice," "polite and professional" are characteristic of the feedback we have received from participating newspapers across the country.

Telephone representatives of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate are excited about their service called "Talk to Me" and are actively looking for ways to help promote the service in their local community. Their excitement is due to the many positive calls they have received from advertisers and responders to their "Talk to Me" feature. …

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