Guardian digital strategy ‘offsets’ print fall

The Guardian News and Media claims to have “largely offset” ongoing decline in print revenue as a result of implementing its digital first and open journalism strategy.

Guardian

In a briefing with staff, Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of the Guardian and Observer, said digital revenue rose 16.3% to £45.7 million in the financial year to 1 April.

The Guardian grew its online audience 38% to 67.8 million unique browsers year on year and drove an 80% increase in its digital only US operation.

Its cross platform audience is now bigger than any of its UK quality newspaper competitors – its 5.8 million combined digital and print reach is more than 300,000 higher than its nearest competitor, News International’s The Times and Sunday Times.

Rusbridger added the company has almost offset its decline in print revenue, but did not give further details of its total print revenue figure for the financial year. Full results for the Guardian Media Group will be published next month.

The company did reveal that print advertising had fallen 4% to £43.7m, but did not give details on income from newspaper sales and other print products.

Overall, the company generated £196.2m in revenue, slightly up from £198.2m the previous year.

Guardian News and Media first announced its digital transformation strategy last year. It hopes to reinvest resources from print to online and double digital revenues to nearly £100m by 2015.

Andrew Miller, chief executive of Guardian Media Group, told staff: “There is much work to be done but we are already seeing a significant surge in revenue from our investment in digital, helping GNM to maintain our revenues in a very tough market. Meanwhile, Guardian Media Group has grown its cash and investment fund and continues to be able to support the development of our journalism.”

Guardian News and Media made a loss of £44.2m in the year as it invested in digital products, including its popular Facebook integration and mobile and tablet apps. This compares ot a loss of £31.1m the previous year.

The company hopes to stem further losses by reopening a redundancy programme as it looks to cut 70 to 100 journalist roles and focus less on what it calls “commodity journalism”.

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