AddThis SmartLayers

ABCs: Top web publisher reiterates commitment to print

Ian CarterAn independent publisher has reiterated its commitment to print after coming top of the charts for web growth in yesterday’s ABC reports.

KM Group editorial director Ian Carter, left, has said the company’s table-topping performance is recognition for a “fantastic team”.

Ian stated the triumph had come as the group was “protecting the quality of its papers”.

The KM Group’s number of daily average unique browsers at 132,744 represented a 25.6pc year-on-year increase for the first six months of 2016.

Said Ian: “I’m really pleased as it is recognition for a fantastic team who always rise to whatever challenges we set them. This year, for instance, has seen a huge increase in our video output.

“It’s also important that we’ve done this whilst protecting the quality of our papers. We face the same circulation challenges as everyone else, but seeing the Kent Messenger named weekly newspaper of the year at the regional press awards was as satisfying as our online success.”

All regional publishers whose statistics were published experienced an increase in online traffic over the same period.

The latest figures ccome after statistics released by Comscore in June showed users spend an average of 12.7 minutes on Newsquest websites.

Newsquest chiif executive Henry Faure Walker said: “We hear a lot of doom and gloom about the future of local news but the truth is our journalists are engaging with local people and local communities in ever greater numbers, and there’s a phenomenal appetite for and engagement with the great local content they produce.

“In addition to these ABC figures, Comscore data shows users engage with Newsquest sites more deeply than with any other local or regional news sites.

“At the same time we’re also seeing more and more local businesses advertising on our digital platforms because they want to work with trusted brands with relevant online audiences.

“Digital growth is a central plank of our strategy and I’m delighted at the progress we’re making but we’re not complacent and we are committed to continuing to innovate and develop our online offerings for both user and advertiser alike.”

David Higgerson, digital publishing director for Trinity Mirror Regionals, said: “Audience growth has continued online, and we are particularly pleased with the fact that the underlying engagement metrics we track show that readers are coming back more often, and reading more content when they are with us.

“Local audience growth is out-stripping overall audience in all our regions, reflecting how our audience first strategy is succeeding in getting us closer to local readers online.

“Our brands have led the way within the regional press in adopting distributed platforms such as Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP, ensuring we are finding people in the places where they want content.

“We have also introduced, and continue to roll-out, the Trinity Mirror content strategy which focuses on local audience growth as a priority at a number of former Local World newsrooms and are attracting users with a wider mix of locally-relevant content.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • August 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

    “which focuses on local audience growth as a priority at a number of former Local World newsrooms and are attracting users with a wider mix of locally-relevant content.”

    Ah, yes, that explains all the ’10 burgers you can buy in (insert patch here)” stories I have seen popping up on former Local World websites.

    This is why we all chose journalism, so we can rate local burger restaurants in the pursuit of underlying engagement metrics.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(21)
  • August 26, 2016 at 9:44 am

    All the positive noises from the top brass at Newsquest, Trinity and all are predictable. But surely their real aim – as it is with every business – is to be a thriving company. And the fact newsrooms are being stripped bare of staff suggests that is not the case.
    Staying profitable by slashing your workforce is not a successful long-term strategy. That only ends one way, because in the end there will be no-one left to get rid of.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(14)
  • August 26, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Predictable reactions here but look at the hard reality – local news is in dire trouble with plummeting print ad revenue this year not yet being sufficiently replaced by whatever online makes (where are the hard financial figures to go with the expressions of delight above?). However, publishers have to try something if they are to survive but any concerned and aware commentator has to ask if digital is a suitable medium for disseminating local news. Perhaps it is for some areas such as traffic problems, traveller incursions, shop/restaurant openings, forthcoming concerts and attractions and so on (in which there is genuine public interest). This aspect is what concerns User Generated Content above – did they take post-grad studies to blog burger bars? But what about the crucial planning issues facing many communities, with vast swaths of our countryside threatened with development; proper independent journalistic analysis of local NHS facilities; investigations into maleficent officialdom and so on. These subjects seem to be missing from all of the sites I have just quickly visited (apologies to those which do cover them) and if papers do disappear, as many on HTFP are convinced they soon will, then who picks up the journalistic baton? I agree with Ex-sports hack that a thriving professional news sector is desirable for everyone, be it mega-corp or one-person band, but echo his legitimate question if current tactics are the answer for long-term survival. Whoever cracks this conundrum will become very wealthy indeed, so come on you brilliant young generation who’ve grown up with digital… the future has your name on it.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(13)
  • August 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I fully agree dick, I just can’t see a future for the traditional local newspapers in anything like their current traditional form, news is accessed instantly as it happens throughout the day usually with on the spot instant reaction and comment accompanying video sound bites and footage visbpc mobile or tablet meaning newspapers by their nature as a printed form are rapidly becoming left behind
    With out the quality local content from grass roots level only available in a hyper local paper their role is gone. Having been dumbed down for short term gain they are completely shot as a credible news or advertising medium with ridiculous desperate knee jerk reactive actions thrown together for commercial revenue reasons so much so that readers have lost interest in three thousands.
    The future is indeed digital but provided by specialist digital broadcast mediums not local regional press groups,or staff not trained or experts in this field( ,it’s a world away from print working) their days are numbered and many will no doubt fold in the coming months due to poor and bad decisions taken for quick fix reasons none of which worked.
    The longer they continue to publish papers people aren’t buying and trying to grab revenues from businesses who aren’t interested and are advertising elsewhere to better effect the more severe the fall out will be when the situation affecting groups ( not merely individual papers) will be, allowing unprofitable papers and high levels of staffing, mostly ad people, to continue is ridiculous.
    It will be investing to compare the papers on the latest ABCs in 6 months and 22 months time to see just jow many remain propped up and how many were closed.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • August 26, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Minim – You ask “who picks up the journalistic baton?” I have been banging on about the follow up to all this financial gloom and despair trying to broaden the debate.
    Digital is perfect for traffic news, what’s on, etc and print has to be the vehicle for long, investigative and analytical reads.
    But if there is no commitment to it, and no-one out there to do it, and no financial support, then we have successfully allowed the basic principles of journalism to be eroded – to witness, challenge and hold to account.
    For suffrage read Twitter.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • August 26, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Excuse the typos in my post
    Blame the weather and it being Friday !

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(2)
  • August 26, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Employee X: you are quite right about new ways of accessing news, but while publishers are keen – and right – to embrace the new technologies to accelerate this revolution they seem less enthusiastic about adapting themselves to change. I pose the question: are top-heavy hierarchies, rooted in the late 19th century, the most efficient business structures for the modern comms environment, or would other, less cumbersome models be more appropriate to the declined revenue streams of digital? The corporation that starts to consider seriously a radical new structure/way of working might be the one that maximises commercial opportunities in the new world, harvesting less cash, I’m sure, but at far lower cost. Citizen: I am sad to say that I agree there has been a dilution of the core principles of journalism in recent years – “to witness, challenge and hold to account”. But all of that was only ever done on the back of cars for sale and jobs, to take just two categories of the long-gone classified ad. As you ask, if you can’t support traditional journalism financially then how can it exist? Whatever, the rights and wrongs of the big publishers, it’s not their fault that things have changed so radically, and hardly their fault they are so hard-pressed to find answers because the problem is an infernally difficult one.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(7)