British Newspaper Owner Reach Targets 7 Million Users By End 2022
Reach, owner of the Mirror, the Express and the Manchester Evening News, aims to increase its registered users to 7 million by the end of 2022 to help secure the future of its British newspapers.
With 47 million people accessing its national and regional content, Reach had one of the biggest digital and print audiences in Britain but was not monetising this effectively, its chief executive Jim Mullen said on Monday.
At the end of 2019, only 2% of Reach's online users were registered, against the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, which had registered more than 90%, he added.
Registered users can be targeted more effectively by advertisers and they can be served content that is relevant to them, increasing the time they engage with the company.
Mullen said Reach had not previously asked readers for consent to use their data. "It was all about scale and reach, and there was nothing wrong with that, but we need more."
The target came as Reach reported a 5.4% rise in operating profit to £153.4 million pounds ($199 million) on revenue of £702.5 million, down 3%, for 2019.
Mullen said the profit rise was driven by operational efficiencies and forensic cost control, but he added that the company was still investing in content and had launched seven regional news sites in the last six months.
Shares in Reach, which have nearly trebled in the last 12 months, hit a four-year high of 184.6 pence before giving up the gains to trade down 4% at 168 pence mid-morning.