Insights from leading European newspapers

Insights From Leading European Newspapers

Last week the Online Publishers Association brought together a selected group of leading European newspapers, such as the Telegraph, Le Monde, Le Figaro and Dagens Naeringsliv to name a few, to attend their event in Oslo. The event provided a great opportunity to gain some insights into these media outlets’ views on live blogs, key audiences and outlooks on the future. Here is what we found out.

On live blogs
We started off by asking whether these newspapers had a live blog platform today and, as expected, a large majority (87%) confirmed that they did. However, it was surprising to see that 13% did not use a live blogging tool today. Consequently, 69% stated that live blogs play a fundamental role in attracting visitors to their site, whereas 25% responded that live blogs were just a “nice to have” versus 6% stating that they did not rely on live blogs to attract traffic to their website.

Next, we were curious to find out what metrics determined the success of a live blog. Results, as shown below, indicate that page views are clearly the most important factor, followed by time spent reading an article or blog post. Subscription conversion linking to paid content ranked third in importance, followed by ad impressions. It is noteworthy that reader interactions, such as commenting or sharing, was not considered as an important factor.
However, this needs to be taken with a grain of salt because most represented newspapers were not the types of outlets for which reader engagement and interaction is a key metrics. This might look differently for sports newspapers, for example, which place a different value on interaction metrics than traditional newspapers.

When it comes to monetization, 90% of participants indicated that growing their subscribers was the most important factor, whereas advertisement revenue saw a mild interest with 7%. Commercial partnerships and free user registration were not considered as important.

When asked about their target audience’s demographics, it comes as no surprise that subscribers within the 36-50-year-old demographic are the sweet spot for newspapers with 41%, followed by the 25-35-year-old audience with 27%, which can be explained by this age group representing  long-term conversion value.
Interestingly, participants assigned more importance to generating interest and retaining the older audience segment (50+-year-old readers) at 17% than to the 18-24-year-old audience, maybe due to the older cohort’s trust in newspapers and more predictable behavior, while the lower figure in the youngest reader segment could reflect common irregularities in subscriptions and cancellations of any type of abonnement.

One of the biggest challenges the media & news industry faces is how to attract, engage and retain a younger audience.
Looking forward, we asked the audience whether crypto markets were a subject to explore. Results showed a conservative approach with only 20% believing that this topic is high on their agenda, while 33% were considering including crypto news. Almost 47% were not planning to pursue that topic.

To finish off, we jumped into strategies for approaching and engaging younger audiences, as this appears to be a recurring challenge across the media industry. Since we have experienced great results with user engagement through gamification, we asked the audience and found that 40% had tried a gamification approach previously while another 40% were currently considering it. Only 20% had not considered this approach so far.

We hope you found those insights as interesting as we did.

If you are looking for a live blogging platform for your newspaper to attract higher traffic to your website, or would like to explore a gamification of a stock market simulation to increase subscriptions, request a free trial today.

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