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Nouveau niche

By Steven | May 20, 2009

Those interviewed in Ruth Laugesen’s Listener feature about the future of mainstream journalism in New Zealand were bullish. But between the lines, I think three extracts tell a striking story about the journalism we can expect in another decade:

[Martin Simons, APN group publishing chief executive]: “Margins are still very healthy. Perhaps in years to come those margins will be more challenged and you’ll have to invest even more material into attracting niche audiences, but I don’t see newspaper profitability being eroded to the point where it is not a viable business.”

Meanwhile, newspapers are getting a good share of the $193 million earned in online advertising in 2008. That is because Fairfax and Herald websites are prominent as “portal” sites that pull in large numbers of visitors. However, Interactive Advertising Bureau chief executive Greig Buckley says the trend is for portal sites to play a diminishing role as the audience fragments and finds niche areas of interest on the web.

 (There’s also a sidebar – not online – in which Bernard Hickey talks about his success in finding a niche audience online.)

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