It’s a big week for the press in the UK as the ‘new’ Sun on Sunday is launched this weekend. Most people expect it to be a direct replacement for the News of the World which was the best selling newspaper in the country at the time of its closure. That News International are choosing to launch the paper at all shows their belief that it is still a potentially profitable media to be in. As yet there is no Scotland only advertising in the new paper although that might change later in the year.
The issues facing the press in the UK and indeed in many other countries are well documented. Changes in consumer habits and in technology are leading to reduced sales. The appetite for ‘news’ is undiminished though, it is simply the delivery mechanism that’s under review. Anyone who uses Facebook regularly must have noticed messages in their timeline about friends having read various stories in online newspapers. My friends only seem to read the Guardian, The Independent and the New York Times, oh, and Bejeweled! I’ve not seen many regional papers appear there yet, this may well be a technology issue though.
The local press are, of course, reliant on local stories capturing readers imagination and certainly the Scottish independence debate and the current Rangers stories will drive interest and we expect sales in Scotland.
The arrival of the Sun on Sunday will probably stimulate the Sunday market for a while. A heavy advertising campaign is expected to herald its launch too so we can expect a lot of interest. The lack of Scottish advertising suggests a lack of Scottish editorial and this might be an issue for them here going forward. Until we actually see a copy of the paper though it is impossible to be sure. Its daily sister title, The Sun, does well in Scotland so we expect there will be a lot of initial interest locally.
From an advertising standpoint it is unlikely to change much in the short term. However when circulation figures are available and more importantly Scottish edition advertising space, we can expect some tangible changes in the market locally.