Filled with “must-read” local content targeting tightly focused demographic and geo-specific segments, non-daily newspapers are increasingly recognized by larger advertisers as worthy marketing vehicles.
And from an investor’s perspective non-dailies demonstrated their capacity to weather the economic downturn primarily because of less dependence on unpredictable national ad linage. Some economic prognosticators are predicting non-daily newspaper revenues will post a healthy annual growth rate of nearly 7% at least through the first half of this decade. No wonder some of the biggest corporate names in daily newspaper publishing have been purchasing clusters of non-dailies!
The non-daily’s strength is its ability to deliver credible content in a highly readable format particularly to urban and suburban niche markets with their highly prized young and upscale demographic.
Non-daily Free Circulation:
Is a free circulation community newspaper’s market value less than one with paid circulation? Among non-daily newspapers there is a gradual trend away from paid circulation in favor of free. In fact, free circulation is expected to approach 60% of the non-daily newspaper market during the latter half of this decade. Gains in free circulation non-dailies are most noticeable in suburban and urban settings. Within a few years paid circulation weeklies in suburbia will be rare.
Previous generations of newspaper publishers seldom acknowledged a free sheet as credible. Today’s bottom-line management is respectful of any format generating profitable margins. Once delivered to the home the non-daily with its compelling local news menu and it’s 3.5-day average life span finds multiple readers. Advertisers are responding with larger budgets for these “must-read” non-dailies whether paid or free. The average U.S. daily has only 48% household penetration, leaving a huge hole to be filled by enterprising non-dailies.
Does frequency count?
Only in sex! Publishers are less romantic, more realistic. Just as in the debate over free vs. paid circulation, marketplace reality is sparking a healthy rethinking of the “value” of frequency for niche publications. Content relevancy that demands a reader’s attention and thus high return on investment for advertisers is key to creating marketplace value.
A monthly or two editions per month for niche publications with targeted demographic can translate into profit margins higher than industry norms for weeklies. As competition for readers’ attention grows niche products increasingly command marketplace respect.