The latest ABCs show Rapport has grown its share of market in the broadsheet category, while in Zululand, there’s a new community newspaper, The Zululand Mail.
According to the latest ABC release, Rapport’s percentage of the market share for broadsheets has increased by 3% year on year (YOY) from 24% in Q1 of 2016 to 27% in Q1 of 2017.
Laura Kaufman, researcher and media analyst at Media24, says that this is significant in light of the challenging environment and general trends in circulation in this category. Rapport’s circulation of 124 854 has remained relatively stable and this win against competitors in the broadsheet category is something to be celebrated. Overall broadsheet circulation has decreased by 85 305, yet Rapport’s circulation declined only slightly YOY by 6 131 and sales were down only 5%, where some competitor brands were down around the 20% mark. Netwerk24 showed steady audience increases in Q1 with the average monthly unique browsers (UBs) at 1 168 986 and daily average UBs at 76 860.
“Afrikaans papers are more stable and this is because there is so much English content available online. Online usage is increasing at a rapid pace and titles most vulnerable to English content being substituted online are most affected. Similarly Zulu titles had a better performance. This is because ‘own’ language content in print still supplies a unique offering,” says Kaufman.
Waldimar Pelser, editor-in-chief of Rapport says that this increase in market share can be attributed to “strong interest in political developments and our unique brand of human interest stories.” Pelser’s take away message from this success is, “Be true to who you are, serve and respect your existing readers – don’t try to serve readers you wish you had.”
New local paper, The Zululand Mail launches
Local community newspaper, The Zululand Mail, part of the Zululand Observer stable, has been launched in KwaZulu Natal to service the Melmoth, Eshowe and Gingindlovu areas. The paper will be represented by SPARK Media.
“The three Zululand towns of Melmoth, eShowe and Gingindlovu form a micro-economic hub with Melmoth and Gingindlovu having both recently acquired large shopping centres with major chain stores anchoring these developments,” says SPARK Media’s channel manager, Graham Sinclair.
“This means that many residents of these towns are becoming increasingly independent and not as reliant as they were in the past on the larger neighbouring towns of Ulundi and Empangeni, necessitating the need for its own community paper.”
The paper has a distribution of 8 000 copies and is aimed at the upper income earning consumer. The Zululand Mail will meet the needs of these three closely knit communities, bound together by agricultural and tourism enterprises.
“As community newspapers are one of the few categories to buck the declining print trend, we are always looking at increasing our footprint, providing advertisers with the key to unlocking successful marketing campaigns,” says Gill Randall, joint CEO of SPARK Media. “Research clearly indicates that people shop locally, and with this in mind The Zululand Mail provides advertisers another opportunity to reach these consumers at a micro-level.”