One in eight South Africans reads an Ads24 Local Title_ footprint of 6.3 million

03 Oct 2016

Ads24s national footprint with local press is 6.3 million, that’s roughly one in eight South Africans. 3.5 million people read advertising brochures or leaflets in their local title newspapers, that’s enough people to fill Soccer City 37 times. 85% of Ads24 readers actively work with inserts and 51% prefer a ‘buy one get one free’ promotion.

In a fragmented world, local papers capture focussed attention for longer periods than television or radio. Despite social media, local newspapers are increasingly read by younger readers aged 15 to 19. Nearly all 98% of Ads24’s local title readers will continue reading their local title in future. 874 000 local press readers have the intention of furthering their studies, that’s enough to keep Wits busy for over 26 years. 85% of the local press community are most interested in community, news, crime in the community or local municipality news. 79% of local title readers say it’s important to support local shops in their communities.

Local Newspapers in the Digital Age

According to Hamish Pringle and Jim Marshall’s book Spending Advertising Money in the Digital Age (p192), “Local newspaper editorial is relevant to people’s lives; it is highly trusted and acted upon. It is the medium that for 65% of people best represents their locality – significantly ahead of the next nearest media channel, radio, at just 13% (GFK/NOP ‘the wanted ads’). The same core values apply to advertising in local newspapers (and their websites) and this provides a powerful platform for both national and local advertisers’

“People find the advertising content helpful and not an unwanted intrusion. Over 70% of people have acted upon advertising they have seen in their local newspaper – a figure which is very consistent across both age and income levels (GFK/NOP ‘the wanted ads’). Advertisers can tap into the trusted values of local newspapers and their ability to target specific geographic communities. Their continued success and mass reach is down to people’s attachment to their local community and the vital role that local newspapers play in people’s lives.”

Six segments of community cohesion

The book goes on to talk about research by Millward Brown that the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) in the UK called ‘Local Matters’ and they identified six areas of importance to communities which they called the six segments of community cohesion. These are:

1. Family and social interaction
2. Leisure and entertainment
3. Finance
4. Government and public services
5. Environment
6. Sport

Local Matters

The importance of each of these six segments varied by age, life stage, region and the type of population centre. The research showed that the local community means different things to people in different life stages. “Local newspapers and their websites are hugely important across all aspects of community life. The content is by definition relevant to people’s engagement with their community and reflects what is important within the local paper’s catchment area – real life, real people and real local issues that matter.” (p194)

“Research has quantified just what it is that people see as the core reasons for engagement with their local newspaper. It helps them feel part of their community, helps them get the best out of their locality and provides unique local news and information that they cannot get elsewhere. The trust and integrity of local newspapers was also quantified as dominant versus other media channels.” (p195)

“Local media are an environment where real action takes place. People act upon the advertising they see in their local newspaper.” (p196)


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About Ads24

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.