Advertising As Content: Newspaper Raising Newsstand Prices For Thanksgiving Papers With Black Friday Ads

from the gotta-do-something dept

With newspapers struggling with declining sales and subscriptions, it seems that a few of the major newspaper chains have realized that when they have a newspaper with something of real value to a lot more people than usual, perhaps it makes sense to bump up the prices. Both Tribune Co. and E.W. Scripps are planning to raise the newsstand price of Thursday’s paper, treating it like a standard Sunday paper, recognizing that many people want the paper just for the ad circulars that detail “Black Friday” sales. In some ways, it’s yet another point of evidence that ads (relevant ones) represent content — in this case, content that a lot of people are apparently willing to pay for.

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Comments on “Advertising As Content: Newspaper Raising Newsstand Prices For Thanksgiving Papers With Black Friday Ads”

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Fungo Knubb (profile) says:


Charging more for the paper could result is lower readership, which is the one thing the advertisers don’t want. I bet they paid plenty to get an ad in the Thanksgiving day paper, only to find out the newspaper is going to price gouge on that edition. I’d be somewhat pissed if I were one of those advertisers.

The newspapers continue to cut their own throat. I’ll be glad when they’re gone.

Paul Camp (user link) says:

Of course ads are content

And ads are worth something to readers. Truth is the Thanksgiving paper with its Black Friday inserts is a pretty efficient way for folks to learn about the offers they did not know they were interested in. The Web is great for searching out the best deal on something you know you want, but newspapers can expose folks to low prices on things they want/need, but were not searching out. So charging more for this service makes sense. What makes even more sense though is for newspapers to do a better job to marketing their benefits to readers in their communities. Essentially newspapers take the let-the customer-figure-it-out-for-themselves approach to marketing and promotion, which is a huge reason they are in decline.

R. Miles (profile) says:

LOLCats to blame?

…content that a lot of people are apparently willing to pay for because they can’t figure out how to use the computer to find the ads.

I request a follow-up. I’d like to know how many more newspapers these companies sold with the “we’ll rape your wallet for the paper because _someone else_ paid _us_ to provide you their ads” mentality.

Wouldn’t the _correct_ way to be to charge more to the ADVERTISERS?

But wait. I forgot. This is the United States distribution system we’re discussing here, where Economics 101 doesn’t apply. My mistake.

Money Mike (profile) says:

Some people here need to get a clue. The newspaper business is absolutely dying, but this happened to be a GREAT idea.

I’m not a big newspaper person, but I got in the habit a few years back of grabbing the Sunday paper every weekend – mostly for the ads, comics, and other extra content. I never buy a paper during the week. I was so surprised when I walked in to Quick Chek to get a coffee and something to eat early Thursday and saw that the Star Ledger was the $2 Sunday edition. Yes, I bought it for the ads, and many others were doing the same. I didn’t have a chance this year to really check out the sales online and I didn’t feel like searching for them when I had to leave for Thanksgiving dinner a few hours later.

Call me crazy, but I’m happy to pay for ads when I know it’s content I’m interested in. Mike has pointed this out before and provided excellent examples, so I’m surprised so many here laugh at the concept.

For the record, I ended up getting a microwave for $24 at Target and a couple newer Xbox games for almost half price at a couple different stores. I still haven’t seen any of those items posted on my favorite deals site. I’d say the $2 paper was worth it.

R. Miles (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Some people here need to get a clue.
You’d be one of them, actually.

Call me crazy, but I’m happy to pay for ads when I know it’s content I’m interested in.
Listen, crazy, you’re no different than anyone who wants to find bargains at this time of the year or watch a commercial marathon interrupted by a football game.

While I don’t dispute there are some successful ads which people treat as content, the basic economics of funding the real content can’t be ignored.

It wasn’t right for you to pay the increase for the ads, crazy. You just got suckered into paying more for a newspaper you couldn’t care less about.

Makes you wonder why the newspaper company didn’t just sell the ads outright, doesn’t it?

I’d say the $2 paper was worth it.
I’m glad you found some good deals, crazy. Many people found great deals (some even found some not advertised at all!). I’m glad you felt the $2 was worth it, as that is value after all, but the cost wasn’t justified, especially when you could have used the same $2 to buy a movie on DVD.

Okay, it’s $2. But what will it be next year? $5? $10? Just how much are you willing to pay for this value?

Because you just opened up a can of worms by giving this newspaper a reason to do it again. P.T. Barnum was completely right. A fool and their money are soon parted.

Oh well. It’s the holidays. I guess I should just give up in trying to fight against consumers who just don’t care they’re paying for the ads used to fund the “content” they want.

Next stop: cable bills inflating to astronomical prices so that you can also pay to watch the Superbowl commercials.


tom jenkinson says:

pay extra for newspaper adds..

the impression I got from the Arizona Republic was that I must pay an additional $1.50 for the holiday paper which I should gotten as part of my service agreement.
I contacted them and their comment was if I did not pay I would not get the holiday paper that i was entitled to.
I read the paper and could give a rats *%% about the adds.
they are desperate to keep their customers, but they sure do not show it..

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