A print publishing reality: advertisers, not readers, are the customers. If we keep this in mind, how does it affect our approach to publishing?
“We focus on markets where we are able to grow audience and revenue. It’s for this reason we’ve been forced to close free weekly, the Crawley News and its website”.
Not a startling revelation: we know that advertising has been retreating from newsprint for years, although the shuttering of the website is surprising.
But the announcement was somewhat disingenuous because audience is not really the problem. Given that it is a free title, the publisher controls the level of distribution.
What really hurts is the lack of sufficient advertising to turn a profit. And the motivation of a publicly quoted company is not about serving readers, but about serving advertisers.