The Reading Room

There’s life in the old broadsheets yet!

As we close the year, an optimistic note is struck about the future of the great British broadsheet newspaper. The Daily Telegraph, the country’s top-selling daily broadsheet, has set its sights on acquiring 10 million registered users.

While the industry struggles with an ad slowdown, declining print sales and to what extent to erect digital paywalls to get the right balance of monetising their product without scaring off readers accustomed to free access to information, the Telegraph is ploughing bravely ahead.

Nick Hugh, the Telegraph Media Group’s chief exec who has been in post for six months, has said the Telegraph will hire 39 journalists as part of this push to the magic 10 million registrations, with Matthew Garran in the FT this week reflecting “although he would not comment on how many the company had already signed up or when he expected to hit the target.”

The thinking behind this approach is that registration gives a media owner a clear picture of a reader’s tastes and interests, which can be turned into valuable data that benefits other products and services.

Even if these registered users aren’t paying a penny for things like the Telegraph’s premium subscription service, which last year updated and replaced its three-year-old “metered paywall”, then at least there is a relationship there which can be built on for the future.

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