Of all the news stories abut the media last week (and most were gloomy), the most fascinating and interesting concerned the Murdoch clan’s Sun in the UK. Not because of its hectoring of British judges who said the UK parliament has to vote on Brexit, although it was a Trump-like attack from a bunch of hacks. No, it was the news that the paper has unearthed up to a million more extra readers a day for a completely new electronic publication. That makes you wonder how long will it be before other publishers imitate its Snapchat edition to try and reach young consumers in the 15-to-34 age group.

News UK’s head of video, Derek Brown, revealed that The Sun produces a daily edition of The Sun for Snapchat’s Discovery section, which features animated headlines, music and stories tailored for younger consumers. It started in April this year. He explained that Snapchat readers swipe through 12 Sun stories served sequentially and see an advertisement every fourth swipe. The advertising revenue is shared between The Sun and Snapchat under a confidential arrangement.

The Sun relaxed its paywall a year ago this month after more than two years of weak traffic figures and a big loss in the paper’s social media presence, especially on Facebook and Google. Since then traffic to the website has grow sharply (as it should). It is still well behind the Mail onLine and The Guardian, but the growth has been solid for the past year. The Snapchat edition is aimed at pushing the Sun’s presence deeper into the social media space, especially among millennials and younger consumers to whom The Sun is unknown. — Glenn Dyer

Peter Fray

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