Kids Read Newspapers — In France

In France, where they are apparently not averse to thinking out of the box, the government has decided to give a free, once a week subscription to every 18 – 24 year old in the country in the hopes that it will encourage newspaper reading among the young (that very group from whose grasp the US news industry is slipping considerably).  And it’s working.  At the World Young Reader Conference in Prague recently, a member of Ouest France, the largest general interest newspaper in the country said that “”Ouest France… increased the number of regular readers among 18- to 24-year olds by 22,000 in 3 years, with 12% re-subscribing after their free subscriptions ended. And 65% of the young subscribers continue to read Ouest France at least once a week after their free subscriptions end.” But giving away a free paper could also be an exercise in giving away free bird cage liners. Says the MediaPost, “ A marketing campaign using new media had to be created, and special content added for young people — traditional marketing didn’t really work, says the report.  And a strategy to move the free subscribers to paid subscriptions had to be planned.”

Here’s the MediaPost summary, and here’s the summary from the conference.

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