Daily Mail sees plunging advertising revenue through lockdown

The owner of the Daily Mail – DMGT – reported a 16% decrease in ad-revenue in the final three months of 2020, as sales of print adverts fell by 38% across its titles, including the Daily Mail, Metro and the i. This is in line with an ongoing downward trend for print advertising and media, as already deteriorating physical newspaper sales took a further hit as lockdown pushed news intake online.

With more and more people consuming their news online or on mobile the future of print advertising looks increasingly uncertain. However, the move to digital presents opportunities for more efficient, lucrative, and informative advertising. Although less glamorous than the Mad Men-esque era of print marketing, digital media introduces subscription models and first party data, allowing companies to understand and market to customers more effectively. This applies to all business, not just news media.

Gurtej Sandhu, Future Strategy Club member and ex-Digital Director for The Times – responsible for introducing the subscription model to the newspaper’s online platform – comments on the future of media advertising models and customer data:

“There has been fundamental change in how media is consumed and delivered to the customer. Decades ago, for example, the pipelines for delivering news started in newsrooms, printing presses, delivery trucks and, finally, news agents on street corners. Now, it is via broadband and mobile networks. Subscription models are the new normal now. It is a foundational block rather than a new product. Companies who are not utilising a subscription model will not make it. Those who are looking to incorporate this structure, but are too slow to do so, risk being squeezed out of the market.

Brands need to understand the importance of privacy, GDPR and first party data. Until now, firms had not been effectively harnessing first party customer data because they had been using advertising platforms. Subscription organisations already use this data – such as Netflix recommending a film or TV show to watch – but even registration captures can help a business understand their customers, and potential customers, more roundly.

Customer experience drives this data more than companies fully realise. Customers that have a positive experience will give over their details, meaning the data will be more powerful. For media companies, this can come in the form of a paywall if you consume two or three pages of content; it is strict. If a business can recognise that by offering one additional free article at a specific point in their customers’ journey, or even two or three, then this heightens the chances of them converting into a paid customer. This data is absolutely crucial to business growth. More companies are moving to a subscription model and starting to get to grips with first party data in a more complex and effective way than ever before.”

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