Each of the Melbourne daily newspapers carried full page ads on the weekend promoting Saturday / Sunday home delivery. It leads to the question: How long before we see a capital city daily newspaper retreat to weekend publication?
I’d expect Fairfax is running this offer because they know it will work based on current subscription, retail sales and readership data. It does not augur well for the Monday to Friday print product.
The Herald Sun offer is different, it is specifically tied to AFL interest and packages weekend home delivery, seven day digital access as well as access to FOX Sport and Supercoach access. It speaks to a key reason many must buy the newspaper – AFL coverage.
While this is an AFL offer, it highlights the strength of weekend product versus weekday.
While I don’t want to see a capital city daly retreat from six or seven days a week publication, declining sales mean it will happen at some point – at the point where production is no longer viable based on subscription and over the counter sales revenue plus advertising revenue.
Coupled with declining weekday sales is a change in shopper behaviour. In the city more so than in the country newspaper, a high proportion of newspaper purchases have migrated from the newsagency channel to supermarkets and petrol and convenience.
Our channel as a destination for newspapers is as challenged as the products themselves.
We can either sit by and ponder these changes and complain about the publishers focussing on weekends or we can look at our own businesses and our business decisions and challenge ourselves to bring in new traffic for other products. Yes, it’s hard work. It’s also retail.
We alone are responsible for our own future.