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TAKEAWAY:Who says the young can’t be attracted to print: in France, three youth-oriented dailies do it with much success. Meet the editor of Le Petite Quotidien, Mon Quotidien, l’actu.
In France: young readers have their own newspapers—-and they love to read it in print!
If there is one statement that is echoed globally in the executive chambers of most media houses is this: how do we attract and keep those young readers?
Just this week, I have had a persistent not very print minded exec who keeps asking: show me a product in print that attracts readers.
Well, here it is: not one, but three, published in France and doing well, merci. In fact, the publications describe themselves as “the only age-specific kids’ dailies worldwide.” After producing 10 000 issues since 1995, the group can be called the experts on youth market strategies for newspapers, without a doubt.
Enter Francois Dufour, editor and cofounder of the group of three publications aimed at the very young: Le Petit Quotidien, Mon Quotidien and l’actu.
Francois believes that his publications are living testament to the fact that a printed newspaper CAN attract the very young—-his readers are between 14 and 17.
“The majority prefers to read our product in print or tablet, and we have no website,” Francois tells me.
Involvement of the young readers is key, says Francois. Their presence is felt daily in the newsroom. There is an editorial board daily Sunday to Thursday at 10 in the morning, and it always includes two boys and two girls.
“This is all about news for kids, and not adult news explained to kids,” Francois says. “The most difficult challenge for us is how to put adult journalists into the shoes of the young readers.”
Kids’ news are just like local news, kids are a region with specific interests…which are not the adult ones (no politics, no business news…). They are interested in stories about environment challenges, tech novelties, natural catastrophes, animal stories, space news, extreme sport records, world injustices, boys and girls stories, fascinating photos, school matters.
And who pays?
There is 18 million euros of turnover, says Francois, with 95% coming from subscriptions and 5% from advertising.
Right now, the publications count with 150,000 subscribers and 2 million regular readers.
Francois is hopeful that others will be interested, and reveals that already the “brand” has two licensees: in Arabic in Qatar;
in English and Chinese in Hong Kong.
But, says Francois, these licenses are not procured by traditional media. Instead, it is mothers who heard about it and wanted to have something similar in their communities.
In what is a rather sad telling of how publishers may not see future in the youth market, Francois reports that he tried to convince media companies to launch the same concept elsewhere, with “zero success.”
However, mothers apparently know best.
“Two mothers (and soon a third one will start in Brazil) approached me because each had subscribed for their children and loved it,” said Francois enthusiastically. “So they created their own start-ups to launch our newspapers under license: StepMax in Hong Kong and Planet New Business in Hong Kong,” he said.
The enterprising mothers pay Play Bac Presse 5% on their revenues (subs and ads) in exchange of all our content (including archives) and editorial and marketing know-how
Not bad, and maybe a project that publishers genuinely interested in grabbing the attention of the young should visit. Sometimes it is easier to toss the “youth” issue in the trash from the beginning than to analyze how this important segment of the audience could be seduced.
Our friends in France have found the answer.
Contact Francois for more information here:
Skype/Twitter : dufourdufour)
Play Bac Presse
14 bis rue des Minimes 75003 Paris France
Of related interest:
From The New York Times: Daily Paper for Children Defies the Craze for Digital
When Elisa Cammarota gets home from school, she tosses off her knapsack and reads her newspaper from front to back.
Watch a BBC video about the project:
A radio show is also part of the project:
“Questions from our readers, answers from their experts, every Saturday.”
The view from here - France - Newspapers for les enfants beat print woes
Of special interest today:
- USA: N&O to charge for digital content starting Dec. 19
- After Newsweek, U.S. News Offers Different Model – Checking in with the news brand, two years after it ended print
- The metamorphosis of American City Business Journals
- USA: Does Hyperlocal ‘Engagement’ Work — And Can it Be Monetized?
WAN IFRA Asia Conference Nov. 27-29
Still time to join the WAN IFRA Asia Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 27-28.
Online & Social Media
Smart Media Digital Business Innovations
Mobile & Tablet Publishing
For more details, please contact:
Ms. Christine Chin, Events Manager Email: Tel: +60 (3) 2074 3556â€¨Fax: +60 (3) 2078 5990