Audiences are becoming more and more sophisticated in how they want to consume content and we work hard to provide the information and services they want in the ways they want to receive it.
All of our newspaper websites have mobile-specific versions which have generated significant traffic, with the majority of users aged under 35. We also have Smartphone, iPad and tablet apps for 18 of our titles including The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, Sunderland Echo and Sheffield Star. The Group also has iPhone apps for our Jobstoday and iAnnounce (family announcements) platforms and a number of free football smartphone apps. To date, we have released 31 tablet and Smartphone apps.
Our newspapers, supplements and magazines remain at the forefront of the communities they serve. Consumer behaviour influences our every move and we regularly undertake extensive market research to ensure we are meeting our customers’ needs. As a result a number of our broadsheet titles have relaunched in compact format and last year five of our daily titles converted to a weekly print format supplemented by 24/7 news coverage online.
Our news teams also use social media – Facebook, Twitter and other digital platforms such as Storify – to engage our readers in 24/7 dialogue. The use of video on our websites is also generating more traffic and interest.
Commercial online platforms provide a wide range of services to both advertiser and reader:
Our online business listings directory and review website is operated in partnership with Qype, Europe’s largest user-generated local reviews site. This digital platform enables our website users to find reputable local businesses (from a trusted plumber to a great local restaurant), aided by other customers’ reviews and ratings.
A partnership with the national property website, Zoopla, sees them power a local classified property platform across all of our markets. This enables our property advertisers to benefit from the combined audience of our local websites and the Zoopla network.
Our online recruitment offering matches prospective employees with employers and we provide an ‘instant interview’ screening service through which we provide shortlists of applicants to advertisers. Last year we launched an additional service, providing employers with bespoke videos of shortlisted candidates. Thousands of CVs are uploaded every week and the site consistently sees more than one million unique users a month.
We have partnered with Motors.co.uk to create a new local online platform across all of our websites. Motors.co.uk is the UK's second largest car search response network and its search functionality and database of used cars for sale is integrated into our websites.
The Group is developing niche markets. We launched an online deals platform, DealMonster, in September 2011 and now operate in Edinburgh, Sunderland, Blackpool, the North West, the Isle of Man, Leeds, Sheffield, the Midlands, Harrogate, Durham and Portsmouth. A partnership with Coinks Deals was signed late in 2012 and this allows us to take advantage of Coinks' extensive database of engaged customers to grow our audience and target deals more effectively to subscribers.
At the end of 2012 we launched a new entertainments platform, WOW247, which provides an interactive one-stop portal for all entertainment and leisure needs.
We hold a number of large scale, quality shows around the UK and these, combined with a portfolio of smaller, localised shows, attract thousands of visitors and big name exhibitors.