Fairfax has done it again! I can remember last year when all I could write about was all the inventive things REA Australia was doing in the Internet space and how Domain was just sitting back taking hit after hit after hit.
Yesterday I received a tip off about a new site that Fairfax had launched. It is called the Brisbane Times and it is an online newspaper that compliments an off-line newspaper.
Only difference is – well……there is no off-line newspaper! You know how I wrote about that silly promotion Channel Nine’s marketing department has come up with and continually drills down our throats? 2007 is Nine?
Well at this stage 2007 is Fairfax as this new site is a master-stroke and ushers in a new era of online sites.
Okay, Fairfax do not have newspapers in many of the major capital cities – Hobart, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin, but with this new site it has thrown down the gauntlet and entered new areas with local content, matched with their Melbourne, Sydney and Financial Review online content.
But think of this, they can enter all of these markets with their online newspapers, staff it with local writers and advertising staff, out of small offices and do it in each region for less than 1/100 of the cost of a traditional newspaper.
These regions are dominated by News Ltd and their online/off-line products so we will see some fairly stiff competition. Yes it is not the same as having a newspaper, but it does place allot of pressure on News Ltd and their costly off-line offerings.
It also gives them sensational exposure and lowers the price of online advertising locally for small to medium businesses that have had no choice but to advertise on the incumbents site/newspaper.
Add the impending merger between Fairfax and Rural Press and you have an even bigger coverage across Australia than even News Ltd can offer!
So what can News Ltd do? Well Nothing, News are already in the markets that Fairfax dominates and have thrown tens of millions of dollars at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s classifieds only to come away empty handed.
So Roberts continued bedpost kissing – dreaming of Fairfax Digital Department has not left him deserted as I think this is one of the smartest media moves I have seen in recent times.
I just hope they go into other capital city markets and place some pressure on the incumbents. If they do, I think they are on an absolute winner and this can only be good for real estate agents gaining even more exposure….
Over to you News……….