Readership research for local free-sheets

Date of publication: November 1, 1995

Author: Michael Wirkner

Abstract:

Since April 1994 the Bundesverband Deutscher Anzeigenblatter (BVDA) and its member publishers have been pursuing their concept of systematic readership research for editorial and advertising marketing. On the basis of research standards, set up by the Zentralverband der Werbewirtschafit (ZAW) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mediaanalyse (AG.MA), the BVDA has developed a standard model for local reach analyses. The aim of this initiative is to provide more openness and a better planning basis for the advertisers in the local market. Furthermore, it will enable the advertisers to compare the profitability of ffee-sheets with that of local competitors especially with the daily regional newspapers. These analyses also allow to check the editorial competence and acceptance of free-sheets in order to put the strategic decisions of the publishers on a sound basis and to reveal deficiencies. It is TRUE the use of media in Germany has become much more selective due to the increasing information supply and the grown variety of media. But despite or exactly because of these changes local topics related to terms like shopping, leisure-time and local events and incidents are of great interest to the population. Free-sheets put their editorial focus exactly on these local service information and even give them a "human touch". They complete the general local information supply of the regional daily papers and the local radio stations with a weekly overview.This is confirmed by the results of the analyses. Generally more than 60% of the German population read an average issue of a local free-sheet. Despite partly great regional differences in mentality there is a great correspondence in the use of free-sheets. Beside information about important events and incidents in their local area the readers mention their interest in ads of retailers and service trade. In the media landscape of Germany free-sheets are the only mass medium which is read not only because of the editorial information but also particularly because the local ads are of great interest to the consumer.

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