Fairfax Newspaper Editors Are Now Listening To Their Readers

Fairfax Newspaper Editors Are Now Listening To Their Readers
SHARE
THIS



Gone are the days of newspaper editors telling people what they should read.

Sean Aylmer, Fairfax Media publisher, says much like the rest of the media, the consumer is now in control.

“It’s really hard, it’s a really big cultural change for us,” Aylmer told a group of marketing bosses and media buyers at Sydney’s Mindshare Unlocks: Native event, a joint presentation by media agency Mindshare and Fairfax Media.

The audience, Aylmer conceded, now has complete control over who, what, when and where they get information. “The biggest change now is we really have to listen to the audience,” said Aylmer. “Our job is to be there for them.”

Aylmer acknowledged the days when print newspapers set the agenda for consumers and other forms of media such as TV and radio, but says those days are long gone.

“It’s becoming clear that there’s no excuse not to listen to the audience,” he said.

While Fairfax continues to base its business model on quality journalism, it is also important for the publisher to give the readers what they want.

“Does everyone know Blake Garvey? He’s my favourite dickhead,” Aylmer asked the audience, referencing the star of Ten’s most recent series of The Bachelor.

Following the show’s final episode, four of the top five stories on smh.com.au were about Garvey and the show. “It went off. It was fantastic. We love The Bachelor,” said Aylmer. “Our traffic was enormous. You might think it’s odd that SMH would do a story on The Bachelor but it worked because SMH, as a brand, is a trusted one.”

Aylmer went as far as to say he’d like to crown Garvey ‘Fairfax Editorial’s Man of The Year’.

The publisher said it’s possible for Fairfax to cover less “worthy” stories like The Bachelor, and even become the authority on such topics, because of the serious reporting offered in addition to such lighter fare.

“Quality journalism can be in any form so long as people want it. We must remember that,” said Aylmer. “It’s really important we have all sorts of stories including the really worthy ones.”

In feeding the continuing demand for content, Fairfax is looking outside its newsroom and is open to native advertising.

“Quality journalism doesn’t always come from us. We think we know everything, but in actual fact we don’t. There are lots of organisations who give content to us, which is high quality, that our readers want,” said Aylmer.

“We will soon be getting content, not from the New York Times, but from third parties we previously never thought about. So long as it’s quality and we’re not fooling anybody, I’m okay with that,” said Aylmer. “I do not want to say ‘This is coming from us’ when it’s coming from someone else.”

Aylmer also shared statistics around audience growth on mobile and tablet devices.

“The growth in mobile and tablets is ferocious,” he said. This surge is currently driving when and where content is distributed across the Fairfax network.

“We put stories in places where we think people will want them at a certain time of day. That represents year-on-year growth in mobile and tablet. As a result, we just want to be there.”

With all of this digital growth, are newspapers dead? Aylmer said his opinion on the matter is irrelevant.

“It is such a redundant question. It’s actually what the audience thinks. While there’s an audience for newspapers, we will be there. Whenever there’s an audience for mobile, tablet, desktop or whatever’s next, we’ll be there.”

He added that print newspapers continue to have gravitas with the audience that reads often “older and more important” than Aylmer himself.

“Have you ever seen Tony Abbott wave a smart phone around in Parliament? No, he gets the Fin Review,” said Aylmer.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’

QMS Media continues to expand its digital portfolio across Western Australia, switching on an iconic billboard in the heart of Perth. Following the launch of two new digital billboards in the major WA regional centres of Bunbury and Kalgoorlie in recent months, ‘The Leeder’ further delivers on QMS’ digital expansion strategy out west. Positioned at […]

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC
  • Marketing

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC

Global marketing communications agency Text100 has announced it been appointed by data management company NetApp to drive its brand transformation effort across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Following local competitive pitches conducted across the region, Text100 has been appointed as the APAC lead agency out of Singapore, and as the local agency of record in Australia, […]

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

B&T once again donned the tux, applied the Brut, and primed the liver for last night's MFA Awards in Sydney.

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant
  • Media
  • Technology

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant

Digital publisher Concrete Playground has unveiled a new app that helps Millennials plan their night out using voice control – the first of its kind to become available in Australia. Concrete Playground’s Guide to Tonight now works with Google Assistant, making it available on a range of Google devices and helping people to decide what […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]

Patrick Delany (CEO, Fox Sports), Hugh Marks (CEO, Nine Entertainment Co), Miranda Devine (Columnist, News Corp), Michael Miller (Executive Chairman, News Corp Australasia), Grant Blackley (CEO & Managing Director, Southern Cross Austereo) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Media Bosses Weigh In On Ten-CBS Deal

Do you enjoy articles featuring industry big-wigs? Well, it doesn't come much bigger and wiggier than this, we say.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine