Generation Y and Z, the millennials and post-millennials are much more tech-savvy on the whole than their predecessors and have been described as digital natives. The youth are active consumers of online news yet recent research shows that they avidly read their local newspapers in print, often from cover to cover.
In a recent article on The MediaOnline about newspapers by George Brock it is stated that, “In five European countries and the US, online had clearly outstripped television as the news medium of choice for people under 35. (Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2015) … Devil and deep blue sea dilemmas (by publishers) over whether or not to partner with the new sovereigns of cyberspace, Facebook, Google and Apple, now dominate online news distribution. The tech giants have the software and the speed which newsrooms need to reach millennials and digital natives. Newsrooms produce the content the social networks want. But it is not a negotiation between equals.”
These tech giants may aggregate content, but newspapers and their online properties are still some of the most credible content sources. In the face of instant accessibility to global news there is an equal and opposite pull towards local news. Compass24 Wave 3 research conducted by Ask Afrika for Ads24 revealed some interesting trends.
“Local newspapers managed to successfully attract younger readers between 15-19, despite their techno-savvy, online consumption patterns. This capability to address younger readers is because the content is also about them, their lives, their schools and therefore more accessible and connects with the reader’s identity as an individual. Local newspapers present news that is still news, but is not perceived as such a ‘serious’ read and for youth this is important,” says Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika.
Compass24 measures 77 of Media24 local newspaper titles and Wave 3 revealed that the 15-19 year old segment who read an Ads24 title is on par with the AMPS national average at 11% of the market.
Taking advantage of the youth’s appetite for both online and local newspapers, mobile and telecommunications advertisers can use local titles as a mean to promote their offerings. Gen Y and Z use mobiles to ‘maximise every moment’. Mobiles (particularly smartphones) are no longer a nice-to-have or a simple communications tool, they’re an integral part of a lifestyle and businesses without a mobile component run the risk of irrelevancy or redundancy as this market segment matures.
Local newspapers are the perfect place to advertise mobile phones, the telecommunications and cellular industry is a very competitive market, very undifferentiated. Advertising is more focused on a call to action, with low loyalty and visible promotional strategies and take-up.
The youth are also more pre-occupied with brands that improve their image especially when it comes to health and beauty. There is an opportunity for this industry to reach this target group through local titles. Consumers are actively buying health and beauty products on a monthly basis, with a strong focus on basic hygiene aspects such as toiletries, dental products and hair care products.