Thursday, November 23, 2006

Antipodean Media big business

So I was lucky enough to get an internship at the The South African, a weekly newspaper which caters for South Africans living in London in January last year. The company who runs the South African also owns the New Zealand and Australian Times both weekly newspapers as well.

The reason I am blogging about this now is that I was going through the job listings on gumtree in an idle moment and came across a listing for a job at In London magazine- similar to TNT magazine, another title operating in London catering for a general Australian migrant audience- only In London aims to appeal to Australian, South African and New Zealanders living and working in London. There is also, the South African Times, a title which has been around for years and almost went bankrupt a few years ago- prompting some enterprising fellows to start the South African seeing a gap in the market.

The main problem I had with the South African is the content. It was mostly made up of stories pulled off the South African wires about South Africa and travel articles written by local South Africans as well as a smattering of entertainment news..also written either in-house or by unpaid freelancers. This was all well and good as the guys who owned the South African seemed interested only in making money, hence the ads team was twice the size of the editorial team (this seems to be standard practice at newspapers so no surprise there)...I still wouldn't have called it a newspaper- with all due respect to the editor.

But it seemed to be fine...they were making money and thats all they cared about, good on them I suppose.

In London magazine is waaay more interesting though as it has articles relevant to the Antipodeans living in London...and the stories are mainly about stuff IN LONDON and the UK! This is a glossy magazine and also seems to be doing well...clear evidence that the niche immigrant markets are alive and kicking in London with, seemingly a good, healthy ad spend for to be had and plenty of space.

What was great to see in London was the enjoyment Londoners derive from reading the newspapers. While there is a truly a plethora of titles operating and distributing in the city alone, Londoners seem to lap these up eagerly. I even saw newspapers which came with free DVDs!! Unfortunately it is rumoured that the British newspaper industry is loosing money hand over first...maybe they should cut back on those free DVDs hehe.

Anyway...enough procrastination...time for sleep!

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