Two marketers in publishing put their questions to i MD Andrew Mullins.
Reid Holland, marketing director of Hachette Filipacchi UK, asks: What’s the thinking around the price point for i and how will this translate to your digital plans for the new title?
Andrew Mullins (AM): We are not underestimating the challenge of asking someone who might not feel inclined to buy a newspaper to stop and buy i, but then that’s why it’s 20p.
The 20p charge delivers a much higher trial rate than higher price points. This product will 100% depend on getting maximum trial at the beginning and then turning those people into repeat purchasers. There is also no reason why the price wouldn’t go higher in the future.
In terms of digital, a paid-for iPad app is currently going through the approval stage.
Justine Southall, publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, asks: Choice about something to read in transit is now a split-second decision. What is the one key distinguishing feature, editorial or otherwise, that will clearly differentiate i? Do you think that i can be a paper of choice alongside the paid-for pack rather than an upgrade on the free set?
AM: Everyone assumes that there is a huge amount of people out there buying newspapers and you have to steal share. But 91% of UK adults don’t read a quality newspaper, and just under 7% of UK adults read Metro. So thinking that because a paper is free everyone reads it is not what it’s about.
Newspapers should evolve more to create more snacking type products during the week. Metro is a snacking product but is it enough for people who aspire to be quality readers? Our assertion is that it’s not. It’s about putting deli sandwiches in front of people instead of peanuts and crisps. You could take a jar of instant coffee from home into work and not have to queue at Starbucks for a cappuccino but people still do. Just because there are easier ways to do things doesn’t mean that’s always what people want and are going to go for.