The first stage of a Newspaper Society project to develop a multimedia audience measure for the regional press is now complete.
The Society wants to capitalise on the growing investment in new media platforms and innovative systems and reflect the growing reach of media products.
So far this year, many regional press publishers have announced new and updated digital services which will reach new audiences and achieve deeper penetration of local markets.
The aim of the project is to extend the JICREG regional press readership database to encompass regional press internet audiences.
It will provide agencies and advertisers with a geographical system for analysing the combined net reach of a newspaper and its website within the newspaper’s circulation area down to postcode level.
In the past month alone, three more regional newspapers – the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and Welwyn and Hatfield Times – have added television services to their websites. The Archant-owned Welwyn title has even ’employed’ a virtual newsreader to deliver the bulletins.
Johnston Press has signed a contract with internet advertising network MIVA Media which sees MIVA display targeted Pay-Per-Click Ads across a network of more than 300 national, regional and classified websites across the Johnston Press portfolio. Among the sites included in the deal is The Scotsman (www.scotsman.com) which generates more than 17 million page impressions a month.
Trinity Mirror Regionals launched 245 newspaper and classified sites over the last 12 months.
The fish4jobs website, part of the Fish4 brand developed by four regional publishers: Newsquest Media Group, Northcliffe Media, Trinity Mirror and Guardian Media Group Regional Newspapers, has consolidated its position at the head of the UK online recruitment market.
It’s not just digital innovations that are contributing to publishers multimedia platforms.
The past two months have seen a number of free ‘Lite’ titles launched across the UK.
The Daily Record, Liverpool Daily Post, Oxford Courier, Sheffield Star and Yorkshire Evening Post have all announced free titles in their respective areas, following Manchester Evening News’ launch of its free city edition last year.
Conor MacLoughlin, of media agency Carat, said: “The regional press has done an excellent job in terms of meeting the demands of the new landscape, the last decade seeing an exponential growth in the number of options open to us for local targeting, from magazines and niche publications, through to websites.
“Regional media owners need to ensure accountability in order to secure their share of [advertising] budgets.
“The NS audience research project will be vital in providing this accountability, and as such has our full support.
“I particularly look forward to what it will tell us about the nature of the relationship between established local press readers and the online propositions of their local papers.”
ABC’s new Group Product Reports are seen as another welcome development in terms of demonstrating to advertisers the range of platforms now available from a newspaper or magazine centre.