Yes, that’s right – we’re starting the New Year on a positive note. The newspaper industry (or at least certain sections of the newspaper industry) are in rude health and are looking forward to real growth in terms of readership, advertising revenues and profits in 2017.
Leading the charge into this exciting era in newspaper publishing is The Washington Post which has recently announced it will be adding 60 newsroom staff to its editorial team in the near future.
According to media reports, The Washington Post will add a “rapid-response” investigative team, expand its video journalism and breaking news team and make additional investments in areas such as podcasts and photography.
The Washington Post’s renewed success is largely attributed to its new owner, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who reportedly invested $50 million dollars into the company.
As you might expect from an organisation owned by one of the leading lights of the digital economy much of this success stems from online activity.
In a memo released to staff , The Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan said: “The Washington Post shattered all traffic records over the past year, passing traditional competitors and the largest digital sites. With monthly unique visitors pushing 100 million in the U.S. alone and 30 million more from around the world, our traffic has increased by nearly 50% in the past year, extending the reach of Washington Post journalism to a broader national and global audience.
On the subscription front, we’ve more than doubled digital subscription revenue in the past 12 months with a 75% increase in new subscribers since January.
Our Sales team has been very effective in monetizing this surge in audience, with special franchises, new products and innovations in the speed and quality of our ads. As a result, digital advertising revenue has increased by more than 40% over last year’s record performance.”
Ryan heaped praise on Bezos by saying: “Jeff has encouraged us to seek out “positive surprises” and to experiment in multiple ways. Today, we are witnessing progress as many of those experiments are yielding strong results.”
UK publishers will almost certainly be keeping a close eye on the success of The Washington Post, here’s hoping the Bezos effect rubs off on them and we see some equally “positive surprises” in the coming months.