EXCLUSIVE: iWeekend’s continued sales streak explained 

The iWeekend’s unrivalled copy sales growth is down to affordability, availability and impartiality, according to the title’s key account manager, Paul Bacon. 

The iWeekend edition has achieved three months of consecutive increases in copies sold, while its weekday sister editions are achieving the most stable year-on-year results of any Monday-to- Friday title. 

In an interview with RN to explain how the title is outperforming the market and the opportunities ahead for stores, Bacon said: “We really attribute our success to schemes such as ‘i am on your side’, good availability and good visibility.” 

Bacon told RN that in the 13 years i has been in print, it has become known as “no-nonsense, and no editorial opinions”. He said its impartiality had made it “a lot of people’s second-choice paper”. This, along with a strong investment in higher allocations to stores, has meant the i has become popular as a ‘household paper’ or as a second choice when other titles are unavailable. 

He highlighted projects such as the regular ‘i’m on your side’ campaign, which provides retailers with packs including voucher sheets, data-capture information and booklets of tips to help promote the i. 

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RN understands these promotional packs are currently available free to any i stockist. Bacon said that while the latest campaign was relatively new, it had led the i to offer extra incentives for newsagents to join their schemes. 

“We’ll be supporting HND month in October with a lot of subscription campaigns,” he said, and highlighted offers available to retailers using i-movo or PaperRound services, which are both partnered with the i’s owner, DMG. 

Bacon added that while people “aren’t willing to spend what they would have” in a cost-of-living crisis, i’s policy of explaining the reasoning behind cover price rises to readers had been successful in retaining sales. “No one else is close to our sales despite our cover price increases being in line with the average,” he stated. 

Despite the rises, the i remains the lowest-priced weekday paper and the second-lowest-priced middle-market newspaper. 

The title is also adding further value through innovative mixed digital and print subscriptions. Bacon revealed that customers can now subscribe to receive print at weekends and digital during the week. He told RN: “We don’t see it as taking existing sales in the week, it fits in with people’s lifestyles and when they do have time to read and enjoy a print paper.” 

Bacon predicted the i’s “neutral” stance in an increasingly polarised world will continue to pay dividends. 

He said that making sure that its columnists come from a wide range of political viewpoints and having its journalists appear in other media was drawing new readers to i. 

Bacon forecast: “With an election next year, i will come into its own, because we will not tell people who to vote for.” 

Read more news and advice about the newspaper and magazines category and click here for the latest ABC circulation figures


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