News brands expand audiences with creative content offerings

Thirty years ago, newspapers were printed paper covering the biggest news stories of the day. Today newspapers are so much more. We read our newspaper through an app, find love through The Guardian Soulmates, book our holidays through Mail Travel, and explore the world of spirits at The Telegraph’s Gin Experience.

Our industry is contiuously undergoing tranformation and innovation. I wanted to take a step back and reflect on what this actually means and at how news brands have expanded their offerings to serve our audiences and nations.

From Augmented Reality to podcasts, in a past blog post I touched upon how news brands are creatively adapting their channels to meet a digitally savvy audience — both editorially and commercially.

Now I’ll look beyond channels at content. Here are a few examples of how news brands have expanded their content and offerings:

Mail Travel

Looking for a holiday? Mail Travel helps with offers, inspiration, and advice. From finding the best viewing spot for the Northern Lights to visiting Africa’s incredible game reserves, Mail Travel covers it all. It provides readers with a supplement in the newspaper, an informative Web site, and regular newsletters to keep its audience up-to-date on the latest holidays.

The Telegraph Fantasy Football

Looking to live and breathe your football dreams? Can you imagine being given £50 million to pick and choose from the world’s best players? As a football manager, your task is to put together a team of world-class footballers and score points based on the footballers’ performances in the Premier League and FA Cup. There is even a prize pool of more than £15,000! People who sign up get 10 months of unlimited entertainment, a weekly Telegraph Fantasy Sports update, and access to exclusive articles and must-read stories of the week.

The Guardian Soulmates

Looking for love? Look no further: The Guardian sorts that out, too. “Find love in three easy steps” and follow the Soulmates’ blog for dating tips and advice, success stories, date inspiration, and much more. Soulmates attracts more than 15,000 new faces every month, and people can access the network through an app and Web site. It also has some great ads; take a look at the growing collection.

The Sun Savers

Looking to get your finances in shape? The Sun Savers membership gives readers exclusive offers and promotions, including bonus codes, holidays from £9.50, “superdays,” and much more. People can download the Sun Savers app, check out the Web site, or pick up a copy of the newspaper to explore how they can save money. It has become massively successful and now boasts more than 300,000 members.

These examples are only a few cases demonstrating how news brands are expanding their monetisation opportunities and, at the same time, accommodating the needs and wants of their growing audiences.

News brands have changed so much over the past 30 years. Just imagine what will happen in the next 30.

This blog was originally posted as part of INMA's Print Innovation blog.

by Hannah Ohm Thomas 03/09/19

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