This article originally appeared in Ads24’s trade newspaper ‘The Beat’ Sunday Edition.
Sunday. A day to relax, regroup and read. A day spent with family and friends, relaxing at home or attending church. A day that is always too short and can never come around again fast enough. Yup, it’s my kind of day. In case we haven’t met before, let me introduce myself, I am Adsman. My role is to be the voice of the readers of the Ads24 stable of publications, and to make sure that they are heard and understood. As the voice of all our readers, across dozens of publications and regions, it would obviously be inappropriate for me to have a favourite day of the week. After all, every day brings new opportunities. But, between you and me, I have always had a special place in my heart for Sunday. Yeah, I know, that’s like saying I have special place in my heart for winning the lottery, I mean, who wouldn’t? But there is something about Sundays that sets it apart.
Our research at Ads24 shows that Sunday is the favourite day of the week, closely followed by Saturday. OK, I admit, that’s a no-brainer. But, apart from the obvious - that you aren’t at work, what makes Sunday so special? Sunday is a day of ritual. To some that means going to church, to others it means watching sport. To many, it’s the ritual of the Sunday paper. Time spent reading with the family and simply relaxing. And people treat this ritual, for fear of pulling a pun on you so early in the conversation, religiously.
Here's an interesting research titbit: Sunday attracts almost as many readers as the rest of the week put together, that’s 8 656 000 on a Sunday compared to 9 893 000 for the rest of the business week.
And, in fact, there are 4.7 million Sunday readers that can’t be reached by the dailies. Sunday is in fact, the best day for reading and for readers to absorb messages. Sunday readers spend an average of 66.5 minutes reading the paper. Compare that to the rest of the week and it’s over double what they spend on a weekday and almost double Saturday’s average. Another fun fact, 65% of Sunday newspaper readers enjoy the advertisements as much as the editorial content in newspapers. The stat is the same for readers of Ads24’s Sunday papers. That’s all well and good, you may be thinking, but people don’t shop on Sundays, so what good is that to my brand? Actually, they do. Contrary to popular belief, Sunday is a shopping day. In fact, it’s the third most popular day for shopping, after Saturday and Friday. But, here’s the clincher (mental drum roll) Sunday shoppers spend more on average. They also shop with others and this communal shopping often leads to increased spending, particularly for items that require consultation with other family members. The family that reads together and shops together stays together. Like most of our Sunday readers (67% in fact), I like to spend my Sunday with family. As Adsman, that means, my readers. And 70% of those say that Sunday wouldn’t be the same without their Sunday paper. 80% say that they read their Sunday paper to relax and 88% say they read it to stay informed. Fact is, Sunday papers offer a summary of the week’s events, so those that don’t read during the week know that they will be able to play catch-up on the weekend. Apart from catching up with news, families get to catch up with each other. A friend of mine refers to it as “Saam lees en wees” or, for my English speaking friends, “being and reading together”. A Sunday paper has something for everyone. I didn’t say that, 84% of our readers did. And 63% of our readers also say that their family enjoys reading the paper together. In an era of mass distraction and the “30 second” attention span, I’d say those numbers are quite unique.
The Sunday paper, and the habits and rituals that surround it, hold a unique place in South Africa’s culture.
And while there are many different titles, read by many different demographics, one thing stays consistent – the role of Sunday’s papers as a relaxing, informative and social end to every week.
Ads24 reaches six in ten South Africans, including print and digital readers. Ads24 touches the lives of over a half of all South Africans adults. While it is important to identify the size and segment the audience, looking at how Ads24 engages with its readers, is equally as important.
Ads24 is part of the Media24 Group representing 97 newspaper titles. From Dailies to Sunday papers to locals, Ads24 reaches almost every target segment in South Africa, no small achievement in such a diverse country. The most exciting element is how these titles become part of the community that Ads24 serves.
A news reader is an engaged reader. Ads24 news brands play an important and unique role in the daily lives of their readers. Ads24 sees beyond the numbers, beyond the market segments, to connect with the people on a personal level. Ads24 has the stats, the numbers, but also the insights.