Media24 and Adspace24 have released the findings of recent market research into the efficacy of local titles, conducted by their in-house online panel, Forum24. Here are some of the key findings.
Forum24 was one of the first online research panels to be formed, more than ten years ago – a progressive move that put Media24 well ahead of the curve on this rapidly growing trend. In addition, they recently won international recognition for their survey methodology, with Forum24’s 2021 research into local titles receiving an honourable mention at the INMA 2022 Global Media Awards for “Best Use of Data to Drive a Business Result”.
The fieldwork for this year’s research into local titles ran from 3 June to 2 July 2022, with some 20 065 Forum24 respondents living in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal invited to participate. The survey was also accessible on social media via a link.
2 872 respondents answered and 2 153 qualified to take part, having been confirmed as readers of Media24’s local titles over the past 3 months.
Summing up the findings, Esmé Smit, General Manager of Media24 Local News noted that “local titles are very stable, in the heart of the community and actively used to make purchasing decisions. In fact, advertising is part of the package when it comes to local titles.”
Relevant and trustworthy
Bucking global trends in print, Media24’s local titles boast stable circulation, with an estimated readership of 3.4 million and a circulation of 1.1 M, along with 550k likes on Facebook. Respondents to Forum24’s survey say that local papers are relevant (93%) and a massive 99% say they are a trustworthy source.
This is an engaged audience: On average, a copy has 2.99 readers, who spend an average of 31.5 minutes reading the paper (37% of respondents spend even longer). 78% say that they read all or most of the paper, and the paper is kept for an average of 4.1 days.
And, for the most part local readers are higher income earners: 67% report being employed full or part time; readers have an average household income of R21,699 per month and 48% fall into the 9-10 SEM bracket.
Why do people read local papers?
Most people (58%) say they read local papers because they keep them informed about local events, with 52% saying that local news is important. 51% say they read local papers because they inform them about businesses and services in their area.
In keeping with this, advertising is actively welcomed: 98% of respondents say that advertising in local papers is informative, useful and valuable, while 69% say they are influenced by advertising and leaflets. 69% say they look out for bargains, specials and promotions in the local paper every week.
98% of readers act after reading
Given that many readers of local papers are purposefully looking for local deals, perhaps it is unsurprising that many of them then act on this information – in fact, a phenomenal 98% of respondents reported taking one or more of the following actions after reading their local paper:
- Visiting a store dealer or other location (57%)
- Purchasing a product advertised in a newspaper insert (56%)
- Considering purchasing a product advertised (54%)
- Searching online for more information (54%)
- Saving an insert for future reference (44%)
- Recommending a product advertised to someone (43%)
“Overall, across regions, our readers are proudly South African, love shopping and enjoy dressing to impress,” says Smit. “The vast majority of readers are influenced by what they see in their local news and take action as a result. From consideration to purchase, our Media24 Local News titles are a powerful tool for all advertisers seeking an engaged and active consumer.”