Alas SunNation, We Knew It Well

sunnation

Farewell SunNation, the Sun’s outside-the-paywall experiment with a blog format has now gone with the raison d’être of the paywall. This again brings into focus the future of tabloids now it has been established that in the age of social media paywalls for popular papers are counter-productive. As far as Guido knows no mass market tabloid in the world has successfully made the transition to a digital model.

Digital first sceptics point out that for all the traffic success of Mail Online and The Guardian, they don’t really make much profit. In the case of the digital Guardian they make no profit. That is because undifferentiated general traffic does not command a high premium from advertisers. Also free online versions inevitably cannibalise the print readers…

Digital first optimists argue that there is no choice other than to deliver content where people increasingly want it, to their phones and tablets. And deliver it fast and first if you want to succeed. 

How will we make any money ask the digital sceptics? If paid subscriptions don’t work for tabloids in the digital era will it be Buzzfeed style advertorial? Video ads? Product placement? The digital first optimists point out that tabloid print sales are collapsing and soon they won’t make money either…

TABLOIDS

The Mirror is contemplating a cut-price, slimmed down version of the paper along the lines of the i, The Independent’s successful cut-down version. The more successful print innovator is actually the London Evening Standard, London’s now free high-quality evening paper is brimming with advertising. Could a tabloid thrive on advertising revenue alone? Metro and City AM show that advertising-only supported papers can be viable. It is possible that a national could go free, double or triple circulation, and suck up more than enough advertising to make up for the lost cover-price revenue. Guido noticed that last weekend the Sun on Sunday was distributed free in some places in Ireland…




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Quote of the Day

Brendan O’Neill on the coverage of Jo Cox’s murder:

“I don’t have very high expectations of the British media. But even I am shocked at the speed with which sections of it have sought to make political mileage from Jo Cox’s death. Pro-Remain journalists, swathes of the broadsheet set, are already discussing her death as a consequence of Brexit campaigning, as a foul spin-off of foul politics. They’re saying that of course Brexiteers aren’t directly responsible, but… that wretched “but”, which means “but they are responsible”. Remainers are already pointing a collective finger at the “political climate” cultivated by Brexit and suggesting it nurtured this murder. I thought they would wait, a day perhaps, before marshalling this tragedy to their cause. But no.

Politically exploiting a murder, morally blackmailing Brexiteers to tone down their campaign, and inadvertently diminishing the culpability of the killer by suggesting “the climate” bears some responsibility for what he did — I think it’s possible the British media has just reached a new low, the lowest low.”

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