Mail Online: ‘Why we’re staying free’

DMGT execs have been wooing shareholders at an investors day on Monday. We’re not there, but DMGT has published all its slides online – they show a publisher determined to eschew Times Online’s paid route by aggressively courting advertisers and eyeballs to remain largely free. Here are the key bullet points…

Photo by Mike Licht, on Flickr. Some rights reserved


Half of Mail Online traffic is direct hits.
“Digital-only display ad revenues for MailOnline are currently up 131% year on year for financial ytd.”
Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke says he’s “gunning for the portals” and “attacking portals like MSN and Yahoo”.
Why the site is celeb-heavy: “Choice of content is heavily influenced by real-time minute-to-minute monitoring of reader activity – while preserving core brand values.”
Site’s readers are “MidBritons to a man and woman” – “a younger, richer version of the people who read our papers”.

On charging:-

Readers will not pay to consume general news on the web.”
“All news has traditionally been free – EXCEPT print.”
People pay for the convenience of print in recognition of the special cost of production and delivery of a tangible product and because they purchase it WHOLE.”
“Which is why they will also pay for news on mobile devices.”
“And we will also experiment with niche paid-for web content.”

Staying free:-

Like it or not, the web is free with one or two players in each sector becoming big winners.”
“MailOnline – uniquely among UK newspaper sites – is now big enough to make the advertising model pay.”
“Staying free also allows us to expand our news brand internationally.”
“And protect and promote our group’s paid-for products and services.”
A pay-wall MIGHT make a little money – we will make a lot.”

Pushing to print:-

Web begets print – “78% of UK MailOnline audience do NOT buy Mail newspapers, but are exactly the kind of people who SHOULD.”
“Mail readers who also use our website buy TWICE as many copies of the paper.”
There’s a “focus on converting new customers to paid-for products in print and on mobile devices“.

Paper sales:-

Mail Newspapers made about £11 million from cruise adverts in 08/09.
Sainsbury’s sells 27 percent of all Daily Mail/Mail On Sunday copies.
Mail circulation revenue has been growing for the last decade.
The Mail’s circulation is falling slower than the rest of the market.

Diversified income:-

The MailLife retail affiliate brand earned £21 million turnover at half-year – £4.7 million revenue for A&N.
Customers used it to buy 566,000 products in 08/09, spending £31 million – it sold £3.6 million worth in wine alone.
A&N Media says it has a database of 13.7 million contactable customers.
Now A&N wants to connect up its whole consumer portfolio, including Metro and Loot, in this way.