The readers of Ads24 Sunday titles have a combined spending power of R51.1bn per month, that’s the value of over 204 Nkandlas. Not only could they build Nkandla a couple of hundred times over, but they would probably have the means and savvy to insure it, as 44% of total readers say newspapers help them take a decision when taking out insurance products such as car, medical, home, life, or funeral insurance. While only 15% of the total South African population have medical insurance, 25% of Ads24 Sunday combo readers do. Newspapers give readers enough information to be able to get an informed view of insurance products.
The division’s Sunday titles reach 7.8 million unduplicated readers and include Rapport, City Press, Sunday Sun, Son op Sondag, and Ilanga lange Sonto and their digital properties. This offers advertisers a variety of channels from print to digital to inserts. The Ads24 Sunday Combo Community offering spans all these titles and includes digital Netwerk24, www.citypress.co.za and mobisites, reaching three out of four Sunday readers countrywide.
Insights about Sunday titles in the Ads24 trade newspaper, The Beat, are highlighted with articles by two of their top editors, Ferial Haffajee, City Press and Waldimar Pelser, Rapport.
“There are ample stories to tell as this democracy is sharpened and harnessed. Investigative and in-depth journalism can drive news agendas and shape information. It is where we as City Press place ourselves and it has made us an influencer, according to Media Tenor. We try to fulfil another role for our readers – to be packed to the brim with useful information,” says Haffajee.
“Our surveys have indicated our careers pages, stories on personal finance and the opportunity index are among the best read and most popular sections of City Press. This is because our readers are aspirational and are driven to improve their lives. We strive to be their partners in this endeavour and to present something that adds zing to a Sunday,” she says
The group’s Sunday newspaper readers have an average monthly income of R16 208 (AMPS 2014BA), and with their aspirational outlook, readers are concerned about their personal appearance and spent R6.1bn on clothes and shoes in last three months. Their favourite shops include Edgars, Pep, Foschini, and Woolworths. They also like to feel good, 89% use hand and body lotion.
Pelser knows that it is important to be eye-catching and keep the attention of his readers at Rapport. “We would rather die than be dull. We are the opposite of airline food. We serve flavour and substance, and do so with flair. We are naughty. We are attractive (just won the Joel Mervis award for the best designed and highest quality weekly paper in SA). And we are good conversation. If we were a person, we would be the one you simply must invite to the Sunday lunch or braai – we relish dialogue and debate, we listen carefully, we have the inside story, and we top it all with some juicy story about so-and so that will make you gasp (‘Honey, did you hear about…!’).”
Readers may not like airline food, but they certainly like fizzy drinks, in total they consume 28 687 000 fizzy drinks a week, that’s over 10-million litres, ‘burp’. They are loyal to South African braai-ing tradition and drink 18 826 000 beers a week. They don’t just like to drink, but enjoy eating too, and because there is more time on Sunday, people try new things, 58% try new recipes. They also like to keep up to date technologically and spent R128m on computers/laptops in the last year.
Haffejee says new forms of media are being adopted and about the digital revolution. “Change is not a bad thing. This is because all parts of the media are in the throes of a massive digital disruption as free media and information bounce across the ether in search of your browser… Our social media feeds are significant additional drivers of audience numbers through the week. Social media has blurred the distinctions of old barriers almost completely, thus City Press is not a weekly any longer but a news title across various platforms.”
An article by Tony Koenderman, ‘Easy like Sunday Morning’, in The Beat – Sunday Reader Community Edition, reads, “Over the last century, newspapers have survived, and even thrived on the threats posed by magazines, radio, out-of-home advertising and television. But it can’t be denied that each new medium has taken a share of the advertising pie, and a share of the consumer’s media time. As in all technological revolutions, the older generation clings to the media they know, while their sons and daughters overtake them in embracing the new.”
The New York Times provides an interesting comparison when looking at Sunday newspapers. An article by Anne Sullivan published on their website in March 2015 reads, “More than a million people still buy the Sunday paper each week. The number has declined to about 1.1 million from 1.8 million at its height in 1993. And about 645 000 people still pay for the daily paper, which has taken the biggest hit. (The daily numbers fell by about 6% last year; on Sunday, the number fell by about 3.5%). A lot of younger people buy and read the paper in print. Of all subscribers, 23% are in their 20s, 30s and 40s — that’s hundreds of thousands each week.’
“And on the opposite side of the spectrum, the typical digital New York Times subscriber is decidedly not a millennial, wielding her selfie stick and heading off to Coachella. No, the median age of the digital subscriber is a graying (but no doubt Pilates-practicing) 54, not much younger than the median age of the print subscriber, which is 60. What’s more, this substantial print crowd, young and old, loves its New York Times passionately.’
“As the New York Times crosses the bridge to a fully digital future, it’s important to remember that today’s passionate print readers are more varied, more numerous and more valuable than conventional wisdom might suggest.”
Whether they read their news online or relax with a Sunday newspaper, there is still no substitute for quality editorial and news that sums up the week’s events when readers have the time to engage in a meaningful way.
Koenderman’s article continues, “The obsession with new media should not be allowed to disguise the fact that existing media still deliver huge audiences. And it’s vital that newspapers should fight back by giving readers good reason to carry on buying their favourite newspapers, and advertisers equally good reasons to continue placing their advertising there.”
(Sources: AMPS 2014AB (readership), Effective Measure (digital UBs), FutureFact 2014 to establish duplication factor between digital and print, Forum24, and TGI)
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