Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Would Consolidation in the Regional Press Be Good for Advertisers?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Would Consolidation in the Regional Press Be Good for Advertisers?

Article excerpt

As local newspapers struggle with falling distribution and ad revenues, the titles that survive are expected to end up in the hands of fewer owners. Can this process deliver benefits for marketers?

MAYBE - TOM HINGS, DIRECTOR OF BRAND MARKETING, ROYAL MAIL

With the industry's advertising revenue being badly hit by the recession, I can understand why regional publishers are implementing big cost-cutting drives, and I can see why further consolidation of ownership has come to the forefront.

However, there is already significant consolidation in the marketplace, with the top five publishers owning about 75% of the market between them, and the top 10 owning 85%.

From an advertiser's point of view, I'd be wary of further consolidation, as I think there is a tipping point where it's a potentially unhealthy situation.

At a local level, there will probably be benefits for local advertisers, as they will have more opportunities opened up to them geographically - as long as the publishers don't get greedy. But there could be issues for advertisers using the medium regionally or nationally if there are only one or two key players.

There has to be a minimum level of competition to ensure that publishers have a healthy approach to advertisers.

YES - KEITH MOOR, DIRECTOR OF BRAND AND COMMUNICATIONS, ABBEY

While consolidation could be seen as a concentration of power and a threat to diversity, it will actually be beneficial for advertisers. It is vital to maintaining quality and generating the investment needed to move regional content onto diversified platforms. The local focus of the regional press, along with the innovation and development that has taken place in the sector, will ensure its continued strength in the market.

Despite competition from other media channels, there is reason for confidence in future advertising revenue in fewer titles and owners. The result will be strong coverage, reinforced by complementary local platforms, giving enhanced content to readers and allowing the targeting of specific sub-groups.

Online readers are a real addition to total readership, and raw circulation figures should be considered in that light. While print will continue (albeit with reduced distribution), online editions will grow in importance, acting as a complement to the offline print editions, offering a different and richer product to the reader.

MAYBE - PHIL NUNN, PARTNER, TRINITY COMMUNICATIONS

Regional consolidation will happen- it has to. …

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