Just two months ago, Trinity Mirror announced the launch of its new print newspaper title New Day, just one week after ESI Media axed the print edition of the Independent to focus on its digital footprint. The “politically neutral” New Day launch was supported by a £5m TV ad campaign, targeting those, primarily female, who were “time poor” and had “fallen out of love with newspapers”. Running with the strap line “Seize the New Day”, the move was met with a lot of industry skepticism, particularly given the difficulties many print publishers face in creating a business model that turns a profit.
So where did it all go wrong? We are an office full of women (most of the time!) and the New Day had actually become the teams favourite morning read, if not only for Janette Jaques hilarious “Your Stars, Probably” feature that had become one of our read out ritual starts to the day! In terms of content, the New Day hit a good mix of articulated news and lifestyle features, with a light touch of balanced opinion and humour that didn’t feel like it was being shoved down your face… Maybe everything the i had initially panned out to be?
We read it because it forms part of our job, which begs the question, if it wasn’t delivered into our consumer pr office everyday, would we be avid purchasers? The decision to not support the publication with a website has been highly criticised for its demise, along with the decision to charge 50p, which would contradict the initial pricing strategy of 25p, which was deemed a purposely aggressive move to undercut most other national tabloids that charge in excess of 40p.
Many people are of the thought that a lifestyle weighted publication such as the New Day has to be given away for free, in a similar format to the Metro and Standard. People don’t want to pay 50p everyday for easy-to-digest content. They want to either pick up and read, and leave on the tube, or catch up online – which of course you couldn’t with the New Day. With every women’s weekly magazine audited by ABC dropping in circulation, there certainly seemed to be a gap in the market for something new and fresh to fill this space. Amol Rajan, editor-at-large at the Independent told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The New Day was not a news-led product – it was a features-led product. In that way it was unique but it was not a compelling proposition.”
The publication had hoped to sell about 200,000 copies a day, however sales are said to have hit a low of just 30,000. Editor Alison Phillips posted on Facebook: “The response over the 50 issues we have published has been extraordinary. I have never worked on a title with such engagement from readers. There clearly were many people who truly loved the idea of a different kind of newspaper which spoke to them. But the reality was we didn’t have enough of them on a daily basis.”
Launching a new print publication in this digital age will always carry risks; we are ever being told that “print is dead”, however some titles are managing to adapt across all platforms, finding a good balance of increased online presence alongside print sales. Year on year, The Star’s circulation increased almost 6% to just over 450,000, while the Times continued its form by growing its circulation by 4.5%. There are a number of consumer magazines that have managed to ride the tide of change successfully too, improving on print circulation; particularly men’s lifestyle publications that focus on health and sport, and female titles such as Cosmopolitan have seen a huge hike in print readership after changing both pricing and distribution tactics.
I’m not sure anyone can really sum up exactly why the New Day failed to make headway in an extremely competitive market, as there are so many contributing factors that may have played a collective part, but no one reason we can single out to really take any key learning from. As a shrine to the New Day, we are going to forever place on our Escapade PR notice board the final helping of “Your Stars, Probably”… And if you’re not familiar with this amazing feature in the New Day, I shall leave you with mine to try and decode! As today’s issue quotes on the cover, life is short, so lets live it well!
SAGITTARIUS: “Male or female, your sex appeal is not in doubt. Right now you are hotter that Megan Fox on a bonfire. Beware envious mates. Some of you may pals who say you are in the closet. Just tell them its Narnia business. Lucky injury? Burn.”
Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors;Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.