Magazine article Marketing

Listings Give Papers a Lift

Magazine article Marketing

Listings Give Papers a Lift

Article excerpt

Last Saturday saw The Independent launch The Eye, while The Times came up with The Directory. Earlier this month The Mail on Sunday also launched a listings and event magazine, called Programme.

But five years after the government allowed publications to carry seven-day television guides has it really helped circulation? And have the paid-for listing titles suffered as a result?

One of the most successful titles to be published in this field is The Guide, launched by The Guardian three years ago. Its combination of editorial, arts, TV and entertainment listings, along with its compact A5 format, proved an immediate hit.

Stephen Palmer, Guardian and Observer marketing director, says: "In general, our sales are up an average of 15% on Saturdays. In metropolitan areas the figure is even higher."

The Evening Standard, which launched its London entertainment guide Hot Tickets in May, has seen a big boost in its Thursday sales, according to lan Pay, the newspaper's managing director, who says the move pushed up circulation by 50,000.

The threat of free daily listings in newspapers was not just that they might steal readers from paid-for listings publications, but that advertisers would go too. Titles such as Time Out could be in the firing line, but editor, Dominic Wells, is unruffled. "Advertising-wise we are doing better than ever. If you look at the The Guide or Hot Tickets, they don't rely on advertising, they rely on boosting newspaper circulation. …

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