There are more than 600 thousand Portuguese reading newspapers and magazines through WhatsApp – Meios & Publicidade

The sharing of newspapers and magazines through groups on social networks, an illegal practice that Visapress estimates is costing the press around 3.5 million euros every month, was for the first time the subject of a study in Portugal. Conducted by Netsonda, it counts more than 600 thousand people who receive and read publications in this way. From these data, it is argued that WhatsApp will be multiplying six to seven times the reach of print editions.

“Although, on paper, newspapers show a global decrease over time (APCT data), they remain highly sought after and relevant in the WhatsApp universe, a platform that leverages up to 6.5 times the reach of newspapers and magazines in Portugal when compared to the numbers of the printed versions”. This is the main conclusion of a study conducted by Netsonda with the objective of characterizing the habits of receiving and reading newspapers and magazines through the WhatsApp platform “in order to maximize the revenue of these media”. Identified as the most used communication application among the Portuguese, the platform has been at the center of the phenomenon of sharing publications in PDF format in social media groups, a practice that has been growing until reaching, with the pandemic, a level until then. unprecedented.

“Our objective was to analyze and quantify this phenomenon to help the media better understand its true scope and how it can be addressed”, justifies Salvador Patrício Gouveia, CEO of Netsonda, explaining that the decision to proceed with this study comes before “ the realization of a reality that is increasingly present in Portuguese society”. Conducted last December, from 470 online interviews and with a margin of error of 4.52 percent, the study indicates that the communication application is used by 89 percent of internet users in Portugal, quantifying in about 10 percent of those who admit receiving and reading newspapers and magazines through this medium (see chart above). There will be close to 605 thousand people with access to multiple publications, free of charge, in a country where the erosion of paid print circulation has been a constant in the last decade and where even the most expressive newspaper in newsstands, Expresso, currently does not even reach the 60,000 copies sold per issue.

For publishers, who have joined together in the last year to campaign against a practice they warn is illegal, and for Visapress, which has drawn attention to the financial costs incurred by publications, these numbers represent a threat. Perspective that will not be shared by Netsonda. Analyzing the profile of users, and after concluding that about 48 percent of those who read newspapers or magazines through the WhatsApp application are adults between 35 and 54 years old and another 35 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, the research company believes that “the development and optimization of the process of accessing and reading newspapers and magazines online in Portugal could boost the revenue of these media”.

“The study did not take into account issues of legality of the practices it analyzed, it only sought to understand their dimension”, explains Salvador Patrício Gouveia when asked by the M&P if he believes that publishers will be receptive to looking at this data in the perspective of recognizing commercial value to this audience. “Given the conclusion we reached about the increase in audiences through these practices, it seems to us that it is an important contribution for publishers to reflect on whether they intend to take advantage of this phenomenon and in what way”, maintains the official, who highlights, among the results obtained, “the potential shown by the WhatsApp channel to multiply audiences and the fact that advertising is well perceived by more than half of people when reading this new channel”.

On the other hand, he adds, “we highlight the differences by type of publication, being more enhanced in economic newspapers, engine magazines, sports newspapers and magazines with great information”. “There is also a very relevant conclusion, of a qualitative nature, but resulting from a quantitative one, which is the relevance and proven interest in newspapers and in reliable information. The relevance or devaluation of the press in its old model has been discussed for a long time, but this study shows that people continue to value it, despite accessing it in a different channel”, analyzes the CEO of Netsonda.

The impact of segment shares

Analyzing the data, in the case of generalist journals, considering the average print run of titles and their readings via WhatsApp, the study concludes that the growth through sharing and reading on this platform reaches 394 percent, reaching an estimated total universe of 797,444 people. Considering the total universe of publications (printed and shared through the application), this growth in the weeklies stands at 230 percent, putting the total estimated reach at 350 thousand people. Numbers that, taking into account Netsonda’s data, are far from being the most expressive. In the case of sports newspapers, this growth will reach 539 percent, corresponding to a total of 286,258 people, and in economic newspapers, 645 percent, raising the average circulation of 36,408 to reach more than 271,000 people.

On the magazines side, it is in the automotive segment that shares have the greatest impact. “It is estimated that engine magazines will grow 550 percent when considering the total universe of publications (printed and shared via application) compared to the number of average monthly impressions of the same”, says the study, adding that “in an identical way, it estimates There has been a 492 percent growth in major information magazines with their online and WhatsApp reading”. This is followed by magazines for the male and female segments (+341 percent) and the economy and management segment (+316 percent). “Television and pink magazines are the ones with the lowest growth with online reading, showing an increase of 127 percent, a result mainly impacted by the low variation between the average number of weekly impressions and readings via WhatsApp”, indicates the study.

This theme is further explored in this fortnight’s edition of M&P

Source: Meios & Publicidade by

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