Digital Ad Revenues Rather Than Paywall Will Drive Digital Growth For Trinity Mirror

Trinity Mirror has released results for the first half of 2014 which showed that you can't base a newspaper Web site too heavily on native advertising and that digital is making good headway in making up for declining print revenues.

It will need to because Chief Executive Simon Fox has ruled out a paywall for its titles, promising to experiment with driving digital revenues to its existing sites as well launching new services, such as usvsth3m.com and ampp3d.co.uk.

However, the group has proven you cannot base a newspaper site mainly around native advertising as it tried to with its Sunday People Web site. It was closed at the start of the year, just three months after it had opened, due to poor performance.

Elsewhere, however, there was a huge leap in digital revenues -- up nearly by a half 47.5 percent compared to the first half of 2013. 

The star performer was clearly digital display which more than doubled, rising by 107 percent. Digital classified rose by just 1.3 percent, although the star performer there was clearly digital classified recruitment whose revenues grew by 18.8 percent year-on-year. The company owns fish4jobs as well as several vertical sites, including Secsinthecity and TotallyLegal.

Across its wide digital properties monthly uniques are up 91 percent to 61.3m and monthly page views more than doubled to reach 440.2m.

Motor and property advertising remains "challenging with dominant competitors," a managerial statement revealed -- pointing to why the group sold its digital property advertising sites, including SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas, to Zoopla last summer.

The rise in digital revenue was not enough, however, to make up for declining circulation revenue. Trinity Mirror revealed that overall revenue was down 2.3 percent for the first half of the year, compared to the corresponding period in 2013.

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