There is no question that newspapers' reach extends beyond their print readership, as papers typically own and operate the number-one news site in their region. The Media Audit released data this week looking at the top newspapers' reach in their respective markets, combining their unduplicated print and Internet audiences. The winner, Advance Publications/Newhouse's New Orleans' Picayune Times and its companion site, nola.com, with 83% reach. Sort of feels like the olden golden days for newspapers when they used to have that reach in print alone.
For ad dependent models, which includes most media, audience or reach is critical. But most important is to monetize the traffic. In a perfect world, advertisers would buy the combined reach. But while some do, it is the exception rather than the rule. Online advertising has yet to be valued similarly to print and other mediums; by selling a combined reach, there might be more of an opportunity to extract the real value being delivered. Even the duplicated reach is valuable, in particular for frequency campaigns.
While bigger isn't always better, it is essential that news organizations grasp the significance of their reach across platforms and that advertisers start to appreciate the validity of that total reach.
By Lauren Rich Fine