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Standard cheapest newspaper after price cut

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Standard Group has slashed the cover price of its flagship newspaper by 17% in a move geared at increasing circulation.

The company has branded the price cut from Ksh60 to Ksh50 as an anniversary give-away but it is an open secret that The Standard newspapers have been recording a decline in circulation, with insiders putting average daily sales at just over 60,000 copies, less than half its rival The Nation’s 150,000.

In a notice published in The Standard today, the management says that the move is aimed at giving back to its readers as the company celebrates 100 years in the industry.

“From December 6 grab a copy of The Standard newspaper at Ksh10 less as we say thank you for all you have done for us. As we continue to provide our loyal readers with the quality they deserve, we are giving you your ten back,” reads the notice.

The company says it is celebrating 100 years in the media industry, yet it marked 100 years way back in 2002 during which it adopted the slogan 100 Years of Excellence in Journalism. The pomp and glamour behind the celebration could be a tactic to reduce the price without attracting scrutiny behind the real reason.

Standard newspaper is now the cheapest in the mainstream market compared to Ksh60 that its rivals Daily Nation and The Star retail at. Previously, newspapers would increase the price at the same time but that solidarity appears to have been blurred by economic realities of reduced circulation and advertising.

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The company reported a Ksh 282 million loss in March this year for the full year period ended December 2017 compared to a profit of Sh 262 Million posted in a similar period in 2016.

Over the years, Daily Nation has been a market leader boasting of slightly more than 50% of the market share. With Standard desperate to gnaw at this pie, price could be a gamble that will take time to pay off given that the slowdown in newspaper circulation is less of an economic issue than a shift in content consumption trends.

Print media has greatly been a casualty of the rise of digital media.

By the time newspapers publish a story, most at times Kenyans will be upto speed, as a result newspapers have had to adapt to this situation by contextualizing stories and give them more depth to neutralize the assault of digital media.

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The situation has led to a dip in advertising revenue which all major media houses in the country have decried at some point in the near past. Notably during this period, revenue generated from digital platforms has been on an upward trajectory.

Mediamax Limited struggling to sell copies of The People now People Daily in 2014 made the decision to make it a free newspaper and earn its revenue from adverts.

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