The Association of Online Publishers 2010 summit opened today, with experimentation and innovation as key items mentioned by chairman Tim Faircliff. I wasn’t in attendance, but I completely agree – both were key when I started my career back in 2001, and both were key since the dawn of business. The worrying thing is that we’re still reiterating that need in 2010.
And when it comes to print? Even more bemusing. Ignoring paywalls and iPad apps for the moment (They still count as experimentation, but neither is innovative anymore), there’s news that Bauer Media (former employers of mine for a long time) is about to trial ‘Gazetta’ – a Grazia for men featuring a strong news and fashion agenda and will also feature food, travel and automotive content. It’s being bundled with Grazia and given away free to test it without spending millions on launching first.
At the same time, The Independent is rumoured to be launching a new 20p newspaper targeting 20-somethings.
Why I’m so bemused…
Firstly, if you want to test something cheaply, £50 will do it and about 30 minutes will do it – just go and buy a domain and some hosting from somewhere like www.GoDaddy.com (aff link), and put some content up. You’ll have insights by the end of the first week.
Secondly, targetting men and 20-somethings? Ignoring the 20%+ year-on-year decreases for Bauer men’s titles FHM and Zoo, here are some interesting stats from research published back in February:
- 99% of young males go online every day or nearly every day, with 80% saying they’d be lost without it.
- 57% of young men have their closest technology attachment to the internet, followed by 49% for their mobile phone.
- 25% of young men admitted to checking their email and 18% to looking at social networking sites on their mobile phone before they get out of bed in the morning. Some 94% use email at least once per day, compared with 60% that use a social network such as Facebook.
- More than 25% of young males living with their partners watch TV on a computer in the living room while their other half uses the main TV set.
Now, this research was carried out on behalf of Microsoft Advertising, so feel free to draw your own conclusion from that, but if you’re targeting young men, would you be using print as your priority? Bauer have lined up some big name advertisers for the trial, as you’d expect, but do you think they’ll be retained long term?
And already in a similar market you’ve got the free to consumer Shortlist, radio companies such as my former employers at Absolute Radio, and numerous television offerings – the big difference between the male-targeted strategy for radio and print is that one compliments multi-tasking, the other fights against it.
And why ‘Gazetta’? A hangover from Italian football on UK TV and the rise of Starbucks a few years ago?
I’m interested to know what other people might think? Any guesses whether either new title will be successful or otherwise? Is digital too crowded?