It’s well know that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the bottom lines of almost all businesses, with the exception of those whose goods or services are linked to the fight against the virus.
News outlets have been hit by a downturn in advertising revenue as business saves its cash to help ride out the downturn.
News Corp outlets are no exception and the financial woes of the international group and its Australian arm have been widely reported.
But News Corp’s national broadshit The Australian has been out there spruiking some positive results — the number of new subscribers it has signed up as a result of readers seeking out pandemic news (pictured).
Yesterday it ran an item in which it claimed the rise in online subscribers placed it in the top position on the list of subscriber-only news sites in the country.
Of course it did acknowledge in the table it reproduced, based on data from the Nielsen analytical firm, that many other news sites have also seen a rise in subscriber numbers with most remaining well ahead of The Oz in absolute subscriber numbers.
Take the ABC for example with an estimated audience almost four times the size of The Australian’s online subscriber base, and other free sites such as 7News, Nine’s online version of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, and The Guardian which also outstrips the News Corp broadshit in the size of their online audiences.
But it’s the growth in audience numbers that interests The Oz, and it was at pains to also point out that others in the News Corp stable such as the Herald Sun in Melbourne and the Daily Telegraph in Sydney have also grown their subscriber list.
Perhaps the fact The Oz item helps to explain why the Murdoch media is taking such a strident approach to its coverage of the coronavirus, especially its anti-Dan Andrews stand in its coverage of Victorian pandemic news.
If that is the tactic being used by News Corp, then it clearly isn’t working in Queensland.
The story The Oz ran on the Nielsen analysis of online subscriber figures did not mention the website of the Brisbane turdbloid The Courier-Mail.
What could the figures show? Perhaps a hint is in the fact that for a few weeks now the Courier’s online news site has carried the same item nestled among its lead news stories.
It’s a blatant plug for readers to sign up to a subscription deal so they can enjoy The Courier-Mail’s coverage of, among other issues, the current pandemic.
The item runs smack bang in the middle of real news items, even though it’s clearly an in-house ad (pictured).
Just why such a yarn would also be run behind a paywall to be read only by current subscribers is anyone’s guess.
Our guess is that the Courier is shedding existing subscribers as they fail to renew and is desperate to lure them into extending their subscriptions with the offer of a you-beaut deal that will allow them to keep reading about how badly the Labor Party government in Queensland is handling the pandemic and should be thrown out come 31 October.
The Americanisation of Australia is complete.
This, from a Samantha Maiden piece on news.com.au on Wednesday.
ABC TV management is unsure about whether to send weatherman Nate Byrne to a logics course or a maths refresher after he decided on Wednesday’s edition of News Breakfast to divide Australia into two parts – the top two-thirds and the bottom two-thirds.