A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Bricks and mortar aggregators

Australian newsagencies are bricks and mortar aggregators. Consumers visiting a newsagency have access to between 1,500 and 2,000 magazine titles and between 20 and 50 newspapers in English and an array of foreign languages.

Historically we have been a one stop shop for news and information. The perfect model for the day – a model which has resulted in significantly better than average per capita consumption of news and information product. The model was created by the publishers and until 1999 protected by government.

The model in its present form is out of date.

Now that we have been cut loose we’re facing tougher competition. Those who created and fostered the development of the newsagent channel are busy placing their product in other channels where they feel consumers are more likel to make an impulse purchase. This is happening at the same time as new online models are emerging to challenge print.

Newsagencies are typical middle-men in the supply chain and are the most at risk of not adapting to change. Many are too busy in their businesses to consider the strategic issues.

Given the involvement of the Australian Government in, first protecting the newsagent channel decades ago and, now, cutting them loose, it would be appropriate for them to provide assistance so that the 50,000+ employees in newsagencies and the mum and dad investors who own the businesses have a future.

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