Recent surveys have discovered that 40 percent of news seekers go first to the Internet, a trend likely to continue and expand due to more tech-savvy users maturing and boosting the demographics. The change has impacted the traditional media world, with less advertising, and European newspaper group Mecom is no exception, reporting losses of GBP 19.7 million – less than on previous numbers but still disappointing.
The veteran newspaperman and former News of the World editor who heads the group, David Montgomery, is consequently looking to expand its online presence through social networking and gambling, saying that the company must make more money from each consumer than simply the price of the newspaper, and become less reliant on printed products.
Mecom has Polish, Dutch, Danish, German and Norwegian newspaper divisions, and reported recently that while advertising revenue was down 2 percent in the first half 2008, circulation had gone up by 3 percent and digital revenues had soared by 36 percent.
The group intends to boost its print and online readership with more offers in each country, including books, CDs, DVDs, travel, homeware, tickets, events and financial products…and online social networking and gambling ventures.
The media group already has more than 200 websites serving 24 million unique users, an increase of 4 percent on H1 last year. However, its divisions currently only make 4 percent of revenues through online products, presenting attractive expansion possibilities.