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Free press editions’ advantage is that they find their readers alone

18 March 2011 / 16:03:32  GRReporter
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Thanassis Lalas’ free press release FAQ, which was circulated every Thursday, disappeared from the Internet and the stands in the streets suddenly and with no prior notice. Its disappearance confirms the violent redistribution of the market of free editions that is taking place now, although it was one of the good journals and certainly could have a better fate.

Metropolis, Blow, the free Eleftherotypia Plus and many other free press newspapers have the same fate. The answer is that the market in Greece is unable to sustain so many editions, there is a dynamic that was exhausted even before the crisis, says a commentary article in Marketing Week.

No matter that 71% of the readers say they get informed mainly by the free media. The percentage of readers under 35 years old has jumped to 80%, reported a Μetrolife Panel study held among 2237 people in nine countries in January 2009. Since the necessary reforms in the media have not been made for so many years in order to make them independent of government advertising, then there is no time to act now.

"It took us ten years to get to the initial conclusion that Greece is a "shallow" and small country that can not take more than two similar products in the same category on the market," said Francisco Monogios from Metro in an interview for Marketing Week last December. But that market saturation does not concern only printed media, it also applies to television and radio. The ability of the Greek market to maintain a large number of media under normal conditions had been incorrectly assessed over the past 20 years.

The most important advantage of the free media is that they find their readers where they want, while the traditional media still can not find a way to cope with this. 53% of the readers of the traditional media are aged between 35 and 54 years, they are of the middle class and work, they are more demanding consumers and prefer to get informed by television and radio in two ways: to get informed on practical issues and to have fun. Free media readers are mostly aged between 13 and 24 and between 24 and 35 years, according to a survey conducted by Focus Agency. And that means a lot to the dynamics of ads in these media.

"Free press editions can bring to life many ways of expression," said Stathis Tsagarousianos, Lifo’s publisher. He added during the interview that the game in the future will not be what to sell, but whether the product has something substantial to offer, if it satisfies any need.

There are three categories of free publications. The first is commuter media, the second are special editions and the third are the papers of general interest, which are directed mostly to the free market. Dozens of free dailies, weeklies, bi-weeklies, monthly editions targeted to women, loans, lottery, real estate, astrology, television, church have emerged in Greece in recent years. Currently, the editions that have survived can be counted on the fingers of one hand. But the general feeling is that now free publications have a major advantage over paid ones. According to all those in the industry, it is that they go to find their readers on the spot, which should be further developed - one of the ideas is to organize small events at these places during which publishers will be able to meet with their readers. And while the Internet is an "enemy" for printed media, free media can use it for social networking and readers’ feedback.

At the same time, the data submitted by the National Statistical Service of Greece clearly shows that turnover in the media field has dropped in the last quarter of 2010.


Tags: NewsSocietyMediaMedia newsFree pressPrinted press
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