Read all about it!
Newspapers have always been a footfall driver for retailers and with the natural fall in sales due to the rise of digital news, Irish titles in particular have been very successful in innovating to encourage sales of the printed versions with prizes, reader offers and special supplements boosting sales. In this feature, we look at the main titles in the Irish market that are staying in the news
2 October 2023
The newspaper market continues to show decline but at a slower rate than in previous years and Ireland remains one of the world’s largest consumers of print newspapers. There is still a strong appetite for newspapers with readers valuing the real analysis that is offered every day in print and still enjoying the process of going to the local shop for their daily paper. Publishers recognise the importance of a strong print industry as a key revenue stream, which is integral for the future development and growth of their digital platforms.
This requires continued investment and budget towards their print products to slow the yearly rates of decline and retailers have a key role to play, by ensuring that newspapers are allocated enough space in-store, to ensure that they maximise every sales opportunity.
Bringing the big stories alive
The newspaper market continues to show decline but at a slower rate than in previous years. DMG Media have recorded positive sales for July at 17,739 for the Irish Daily Mail and 40,875 for The Irish Mail on Sunday, with both titles showing growth against the previous two months. These numbers contributing an extra 2.5% in retail sales value against the same period in 2022.
DMG Media revenues from newspaper sales for the last 12 months were buoyant with nearly €20m going through retailers’ tills and profit margins for all retailers received a boost when VAT was reduced to 0% in January.
The company has continued to engage with retailers, and this was evident in its “Seize the Day. Everyday” 2022/23 campaign. Retailers were encouraged to display DMG Media’s point of sale and rewarded with cash prizes, of which it gave out €15,000 to the trade for their fantastic efforts in promoting these titles. This activity has been at the forefront of the company’s sales performance and to show how much it values its retail partners it is offering another €15,000 for retailers to win from October 2023. To participate, display the point of sale collateral, which will consist of an a4 poster, shelf strip and wobbler and enter by emailing a picture of your POS displayed to email@example.com or contact DMG Media if you have not received a pack.
Newspapers have a responsibility to maintain high standards and to ensure they have the trust of the public. DMG Media continues to invest in both the Irish Daily Mail and The Irish Mail on Sunday and consistently bring the big stories to its readers. Covering issues that affect readers, including the cost of living, energy crisis, housing and health issues.
The company’s recent sales results were also due to excellent editorial coverage of the main news events and shows that there is still a strong appetite for newspapers with readers valuing the real news and concise analysis that is offered every day in print.
The i newspaper also owned by DMG Media continues to hold a sale close to 500 copies each day. It publishes Monday to Saturday and has a fresh and exciting look at UK and world news, business, opinion, lifestyle, culture and sport.
Business Plus, the market-leading Irish business to business magazine, is now part of the growing DMG Media Group. With topics covering all areas of SME news from, mergers and acquisitions to funding, science and technology to the economy, Business Plus is Ireland’s foremost specialist business publication. DMG Media would encourage the trade to fully support this Irish magazine and to stock on their shelves.
The Irish Daily Mail and The Irish Mail on Sunday have a combined de duplicated audience of 482,000 readers across a full week.
The Irish Daily Mail is more male bias (Male/Female – 58%/42%) than that of the Irish Mail on Sunday, which has a more female profile (53%/47% female/male) with both publications having a stronghold in the important ABC1 group, (ABC1 Profile – 46% Daily and 46% Sunday). Both titles over indexing against ABC1 population which is 43.5%. Main shoppers are strongly represented across both papers, for the Irish Daily Mail two out of three readers are responsible for the main shop each week within the household and for the Irish Mail on Sunday, it equates to three out of four readers.
Along with its two national newspapers, DMG Media is one of Ireland’s largest digital publishers with eight digital brands. A portfolio that includes Extra.ie, ExtraG, Evoke, RollerCoaster.ie, OneFabDay.com, GeekIreland.com, MailOnline and BusinessPlus.ie and reaches over 3.6 million Irish adults every month.
Tomorrow delivered today
EM News Distribution (EMND), has a long and proud history of serving communities across Ireland with the delivery of newspapers and magazines to retailers. Today, the business is part of Menzies Distribution Group following a joint venture established in the late 1990s between 135-year-old iconic Irish company, Eason and Menzies.
EMND is committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the newstrade end-to-end supply chain and to providing quality, time-critical delivery services that represent the best value for all its customers. Operating out of two hubs in Belfast and Dublin and a further five spokes in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Urlingford and Londonderry forming a unique network across Ireland, the business provides supplies to retailers and e-commerce deliveries to over 4,500 customers, seven days a week, 364 days a year via some 35 nightly trunking routes and 215 final mile routes.
This specialist Irish network is also comprised of a modern, varied fleet including soon to be launched electric vehicles as the business plans to become net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by no later than 2035 – 15 years ahead of the target dates set by the Paris Agreement and UK legislation. Sustainability wasn’t a recognised imperative when the business started out, but they’ve been designing sustainable routes to market and circular processes since the outset – think returns processing! They are somewhat pioneers in the field, taking responsibilities to climate change seriously, specifically in relation to clean air, a clean network and transition to zero emission vehicles. The company’s mantra is ‘tomorrow delivered today’ with a sustainable business model that encompasses all aspects of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG).
EMND employee health and safety, along with that of its customers, partners and the wider community is the number one priority. The company’s DNA is pointed directly at ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and that everyone returns home safely, each and every day.
Customer service excellence also sits first amongst equals at the top of the list of priorities. A dedicated call centre is available to answer customer queries along with the online service portal, iMenzies, where customers can manage their accounts online – amending orders, requesting additional products/copies, making claims and viewing all paperwork.
Efficiency, process optimisation, technology and continuous innovation are also critical to ensuring the best possible service is delivered. Routes are regularly reviewed and revised to better enable time critical deliveries. HS and Pack by Light lines are designed to enhance the quality of service to retail customers by improving accuracy and Axon scanning for product identification uses leading computer-controlled camera technology. With the combination of industry leading kit and an abundance of experience in the sector, EMND distributes over 3,000 newspaper and magazine titles per month with over 60,000 issues allocated, picked and packed.
With a strong Irish network, unrivalled history and experience and ease of access to a wider UK network, EMND is well placed to help Irish retailers prosper. To find out more contact the team on 01 8023 200 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
In conversation with …Alan Kelly, audience manager for Reach PLC
Print titles: Irish Daily Mirror, Irish Daily Star, Irish Sunday Mirror, Irish Sunday People, RSVP magazine & RSVP Specials
Websites: Irishmirror.ie, DublinLive, BelfastLive, RSVPLive, CorkBeo, Galway Beo & Buzz.ie
Q: What are the latest circulation and readership figures for your title(s), and how do these compare to last year’s figures?
A: The Irish Daily Mirror, Irish Daily Star and Irish Sunday Mirror continue to perform strongly in a very challenging market environment, as we continue to feel the heat from the war in Ukraine, and the current cost of living crisis which has put extra pressure on the print media industry, particularly the magazine sector. Despite these factors, these titles were amongst the best performing in the market
Jan-Jun 2023 ABC Performance.
Irish Daily Mirror 19,046 (-10% YoY)
Irish Sunday Mirror 14,819 (-6% YoY)
Irish Daily Star 25,774 (-12% YoY)
Q: What is the profile of your newspapers’ readership demographic?
A: Below is the latest TGI readership data breakdown for the Irish Daily Star, Irish Daily Mirror and Irish Sunday Mirror
Irish Daily Star – 116,000 (ROI TGI-2023r1)
Irish Daily Mirror – 101,000 (ROI TGI-2023r1)
Irish Sunday Mirror – 192,000 (ROI TGI-2023r1)
Q: Quality journalism is essential for newspapers to perform in today’s market. How have you ensured you are delivering on, or exceeding readers’ expectations? What were some of your major stories/’scoops’ over the past year and how did these affect sales?
A: We pride ourselves on the high quality of the journalism we produce right across our print and digital platforms. Our loyal readers expect to be informed and entertained from the content we produce, and the continuous research we carry out, enables us to produce engaging content that our readers want to consume and share. It’s imperative that we continue to invest and develop in our print and digital platforms, so we can deliver trusted, informative and entertaining content to our readers on a daily basis. Our coverage of the Hutch trial, and his subsequent acquittal was second to none, which was reflected in significant sales increases in the Irish Daily Star and Irish Daily Mirror during this period. The crackdown on the Kinahan cartel, death of Irish music icon Sinead O’Connor and associated content yielded some big increases too, as did the recent horrific debs and Leaving Cert road deaths in Monaghan and Tipperary.
Q: As the cost-of-living crisis continues, offers and promotions will become even more important in generating sales: which promotions were the most successful during the past year and what else have you planned on this front in the coming weeks and months?
A: Reach has a consistent strategy for top quality, high-value print and online giveaways that serve to reward our regular readers, and attract some new ones. Our Slimming World magazines in January really resonate with our print audience and continue to deliver solid sales increases, whilst the recent Rugby World Cup wallcharts in the Mirror and Star produced healthy sales lifts. Our free €5 bets with Paddy Power during the Cheltenham festival in both of our daily titles offered superb value for money during the biggest sales week of the calendar year and would have also benefitted our retail partners with increased footfall through their stores.
Q: What are the benefits to retailers of the trade terms in stocking your titles?
A: Reach PLC titles have long maintained the healthiest retail margins in the market. We recognise the important roles played by our retail partners during this challenging economic climate, which is why we have forged a close working relationship, to explore new sales opportunities and revenue streams. Our RSVP Country and Home specials have delivered consistent sales performances, and provide a strong cash return for retailers based on the current €3.95 cover price and 25% margin.
Q: How can the challenges facing the newspaper industry, including a greater reliance on online content among consumers, be overcome?
A: The challenges facing the print newspaper industry have been well documented over the past few years, particularly the rate of migration to online. However, publishers also recognise the importance of a strong print industry as a key revenue stream, which is integral for the future development and growth of their digital platforms. This will require continued investment and budget towards their print products to slow the yearly rates of decline. We are still one of the world’s largest consumers of print newspapers in Ireland, and we must not take these readers for granted as the years progress. Our retail partners also have a key role to play, by ensuring that newspapers are allocated enough space instore, to ensure that we maximise every sales opportunity as I believe that print news is still a key footfall driver for retailers.
Getting down to business!
Enda O’Coineen, the chairman of Kilcullen Kapital Partners, bought what was then the Sunday Business Post newspaper in September 2018. Since then, it has transformed into a group of companies focused on media, events, data, software, and services with three primary divisions:
- Business Post Content: A trusted multi-platform source of premium news, insight, opinion, and analysis. The Business Post media outlet is the leading title of this pillar which includes Food and Wine, Connected and Irish Tatler which goes back over 132 years.
- Business Post Experiences: A provider of world class events and experiences that bring people together to learn, develop, share ideas, and conduct business. iQuest and Business Post Live are the core businesses of this pillar.
- Business Post Insights & Data: An agile source of valuable and high-quality insights and services to the business community. Red C Research is the lead business in this pillar.
In 2023 the Business Post made a key appointment, naming Daniel McConnell as the new Business Post editor. McConnell had been political editor of the Irish Examiner since 2015 and is the current Newsbrands Ireland national journalist of the year and political journalist of the year. He previously worked as group political correspondent and chief reporter at Independent News and Media, now Mediahuis Ireland, between 2006 and 2015, as well as at The Irish Times and the Sunday Times. The Business Post Group also announced this year, a material minority investment in the group by the pan-European Swedish publishing group Bonnier News. In what is a significant development for both organisations, the Business Post Group will seek to leverage the expertise of the Bonnier News group to accelerate its content and expansion. The investment is part of the growth of the Business Post Group and its development into a “House of Brands” in Ireland and globally.
The Business Post has a strong ABC1 audience, and the readership is very evenly split between males and females. Its core readership includes senior executives, key business decision-makers, professional advisors, and small business owners. Despite a challenging market, the Business Post weekly engagement with readers has performed well in 2023.
Quality and high value editorial content is at the heart of everything the group does. As Ireland’s only dedicated business, politics and current affairs title, the Business Post’s editorial mission is to build on this position and provide print readers and digital subscribers with deep insights and unique analysis that will help drive better decisions in their businesses.
On the retail front, the group has plans over the coming months which it hopes will lead to increased interest in its title and a resulting increase in sales, benefitting both the newspaper and its retail partners. The Business Post is also heavily focused on building its community which will be achieved through special offers, competitions and exclusive readers and subscriber experiences. Financially, the high margin available to retailers through each sale of the Business Post reflects the importance of the retail channel to publishers. The Business Post says it values the support of its retail partners very highly and they are vitally important to the group’s continued strong performance in a tough trading environment.
Changing reader habits over the last few years have had major repercussions for publishers, the newspaper industry and traditional print media. The Business Post’s view is that print, while currently in decline, will plateau and the key is to innovate and adapt to the needs of consumers while continuing to invest in top quality content for both its print and online products.