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Custom: Newspaper in a Competitive Market

“It’s all about understanding what content your customers are looking for and how they consume their newspaper.”

Even with the fragmentation of information distribution, newspapers continue to be a successful and highly competitive industry. Individuals still spend an average of one hour reading their Sunday paper. But with so many publications, attracting and retaining subscribers with engaging content is key.

The Challenge: 

Because revenue from the weekend newspaper often accounts for over 50% of a newspaper’s profit, maintaining subscribers is critical. One major publication wanted to study the importance of each major newspaper section, as well as establish important benchmarks of their competitor’s sectional readership. 

Applying Our Insights: 

Using an extensive telephone survey, Scarborough re-contacted readers of competing weekend newspapers. For each newspaper, the survey measured the importance of the key newspaper sections overall. Then we established the importance of each section – specific to our client’s newspaper – to determine if any key sectional components of the reading experience were subpar. The analysis highlighted two under-performing areas for them. We also asked a host of reader engagement questions: Do you read nearly all of the Sunday sections? Do you sharing a section with other people? Do you contact the editor or save articles for future reference? These answers highlighted that sectional short-falls were especially important to engaged readers.

The Results: 

Because two sections were under-performing among their most important readers, the newspaper added resources to those sections and updated their look and navigability. Early reports showed that readers noticed the difference and these improvements should help retain existing subscribers and pull readers away from competing weekend newspapers.

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