The aging newspaper and the gaining online

When you want to browse for properties to buy, which site would you go to? If you want to know what’s the latest transacted prices for a certain area or property, where do you go to? If you would like to read about property news, which would be your main site? How about property blogs, which would normally provide you with some original ideas which are not based on who pays the blogs but more of neutral and on the ground opinions? Well, most of the time, majority would choose to go to the most famous one, followed by the second ranked but seldom do we go to the third, fourth or even fifth ranked ones. Thus, everyone within this space must always jostle for the top spot or at least second most visited. True?
An article in The Star caught my attention. I think they are now acknowledging publicly that to rely just on prints alone would be suicidal in the long run. Thus, they are looking at integrating all its advertising businesses. They call it advertising business verticalisation which simply meant they have many different medias to help you whether its print, digital, classifieds and even exhibitions.
While this seems powerful, it does not always mean you get the best if you splash your advertising dollars across all medias. Some developers even use just the price to attract buyers. Most of the time, if their price is 10-15 percent lower than everyone else in the industry and they just put it up in their Facebook page, this would be enough to generate lots of sharing. When I wrote about an affordable project in Penang last year, within hours, the sharing has already hit a few hundred. No one can do that with a print copy of whatever newspaper but of course people who read the advertisement in newspaper may choose to call or visit the property developer’s site to know more. Today, hardly anyone who thought of buying a new property would rush to the nearest 7-11 store to buy the newspaper. I am not joking. The first media and the last media that we use when it comes to property would definitely be something online.
I am not an owner of a big publishing company or a commercial online property site. However, I am one of the many millions of people who uses online everyday for everything that I do. Searching for better deals, comparing between new property launches and even reading the comments about a certain property. In fact I recently used an online calculator to know what’s my potential return but I could never do that with a newspaper, not then, not now, not forever.
This was mentioned in the article as well. “Print remains the cash cow of Star, but its revenue contribution to the group has been declining over the years.” Star is a huge media group. Total pre-tax profit last year was RM153.4 million. Note that this is net profit. For many of the listed companies, this amount might be just their yearly revenue.
Of course, I hope they (Star) take their own words very seriously and stop selling print advertisement for top dollars and then give free or sell their online portion with extremely huge discounts. I think this applies to many other print media companies who are now transitioning into an online company. Happy changing from print to online.
written on 19 May 2015
Next suggested article: Ignorance or still true? Well, you decide.


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