Australian Newsagency Blog

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

Disrespectful obsession with newspaper home delivery discounting

Mark Fletcher
July 5th, 2018 · 10 Comments

Plugging the heavily discounted $1.00 a day newspaper home delivery across the masthead of The Daily Telegraph does not make sense to me.

Home delivery is not cost effective for publishers without good advertiser support and we are told advertising revenue is in decline for daily newspapers.

Newspaper home delivery is expensive yet the fees paid often do not cover the real actual cost to the distribution newsagent.

Newspapers are not bought for news today like they were years ago. The news they carry is old, out of date. While the analysis may be interesting, it is rare anyone gets a breaking stock from a print newspaper.

Retail only newsagents are disrespected by the publisher pitching this $1.00 offer on a product they sell in-store for $1.70.

While I get that publishers need subscribers in their mix, to be able to pitch to advertisers, it frustrates me that they do this through disrespect for their retailers.


Category: Newspaper distribution · newspaper home delivery · Ugh!

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Graeme Day // Jul 5, 2018 at 7:37 AM

    Interesting topic. What do you do with stock that you need to sell more in quantity than you are selling at the moment.
    One discounts it to get more purchasers.Get more sales. Get more revenue overall..
    Would it be better for all if the paper closed?


  • 2 PAT. E // Jul 5, 2018 at 7:38 AM

    Seen a cracker the other day get your tele free when you buy a coffee at Coles Express.
    Quiet often the local Metro Petrolium servo has a get it free with a bottle of water !
    Shows how much respect news has for the dollar value of their papers and the value of their “retail partners “only ever about the advertisement revenue.
    Another 2 local “Newsagents” closed their doors ,does News or even tatts for that matter,Gordon Gotch …..give a rats!NO CHANCE


  • 3 Gerard Munday // Jul 5, 2018 at 8:17 AM

    The issue for me is why do we keep doing things the same way and keep expecting a different result ?
    Publisher own a distribution inferstructure that is theirs to manage as they wish. Why are we still doing things the same as we did 20 years ago.
    Why aren’t we offering flat wrap?, why aren’t we offering 5am delivery? Why aren’t we offering add on services to this delivery? Why aren’t we offering different services and allow the customer to pay accordingly so the distributor can be paid accordingly.
    Imagine if Aust post was still delivering standard services for the price of a local stamp? Post offers a number of services that the customers choice according to what they want to pay…..publishers have the same opportunity .
    Publishers can do this …. they just need to choice who they are working with … a retailer or a distributor …. because each will offer different outcomes.
    Publishers need to stop wanting to tick all the boxes with one system that may have worked 20 years ago , but clearly today doesn’t work with today’s customers expectations.


  • 4 James // Jul 5, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    And bingo we’ve got to the real crux of the matter. I think a large portion of the newsagency channel has been trying to transition their businesses over the last 5 to 10 years.

    The truly weird part is that the baseline suppliers – publishers, magazine distributors, stationery wholesalers, greeting card suppliers, are operating their relationships and their business models exactly as they have for 100 years, treating agents the same way, running on the same commercial terms, distributing the same way, compensating the same way.

    The fact is that although they see the change and the decay happening in front of them, they cant bring themselves to do anything about it. Its same ole same ole….and I include Tatts in this as well.

    It seems that as long as they can get a senior manager to mouth the word “omni-channel”, they’re remaining relevant. Without realising of course that omni-channel by its very nature means less bricks and mortar and the destruction of millions of dollars of small business owner capital.

    Yes, we as retailers may be struggling to come to terms with the changes in the commercial environment, but our core suppliers are a 100 years behind the 8 ball.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jul 5, 2018 at 4:15 PM

    Graeme the day the first capital city daily newspaper closes is the day we will see more newsagents than ever focus on their future.

    The news here in this post and the comments is not new. More than ten years ago retail newsagents should have started structuring their businesses to not need newspapers. Too many are yet to start this.


  • 6 Graeme Day // Jul 5, 2018 at 5:43 PM

    You may be right, you may not be right about newspapers. My comment is about what they are doing and why they (News Ltd is discounting.
    It’s a fair call for any company to try the best they can to save their ship.
    As you correctly put it “more than ten years retail newsagents should have started etc”
    As you are aware I too agreed with that and have been contributing to that cause since 2001 with space allocation, and other pertinent components for “the new” business model.
    Newsagent debt load is another reason that more conversion hasn’t happened than what should have happened.
    I totally agree that “too many are yet to start this”
    My other and main concern is the huge damage that a major change in distribution would do and how this would affect those that are showing the way as at this point in time we are all “lumped” together as one industry.
    No concept as yet, as far as I am concerned has yet reached the public to show them that the industry is evolving into a different presentation through a more community style business model. By community style I mean a presentation that includes all the community age groups with products that suit them.
    For successful transition we need to recognise yesterday, nuture it for the moment , develop today by full focus and give positve attention
    to tomorrow for growth.
    Most if not all of it that you are doing or trying to accommplish.
    I just don’t happen to agree that trying to improve sales by discounting a product that this is disrecting newsagents especially when they do not alter the commission rate paid for that delivery.
    i really hope for all those newsagents that have money invested that News do not only save their papers but make them a great alternative to on line news.
    p.s. I get both on line (iPad) and hard copy every day.


  • 7 Graeme Day // Jul 5, 2018 at 5:52 PM

    Six lines up from the bottom should read “direspecting newsagents, not the sticky key word “disrecting’


  • 8 Graeme Day // Jul 5, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    Again disrespecting is the word.


  • 9 Mark Fletcher // Jul 5, 2018 at 7:28 PM

    Discounting newspapers the way they are today for a premium home delivery service is nuts.


  • 10 Jason // Jul 6, 2018 at 3:05 PM

    Obsession is the right word…


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