Citing the “outstanding results” of its tablet-based La Presse+ product, Quebec daily La Presse has announced its intention to stop printing a Monday to Friday print edition, effective Jan. 1.
The company will continue to print a Saturday edition, saying it remains a “potent, engaging ritual” for “profoundly attached” readers, as well as an effective advertising vehicle.
“This popularity with readers and strong interest from the advertising industry are the reasons why the Saturday print edition will be maintained, despite trends observed in the industry,” said the company in a release.
The decision to abandon a weekday print edition represents a major milestone for the 131-year-old publication, with president and publisher Guy Crevier saying La Presse is the first major daily in the world to go 100% digital on weekdays.
The print edition of La Presse averages 269,300 weekday readers 18+ according to the most recent report from NADbank, while its combined digital/print reach is 705,500.
The free La Presse+ product has approximately 460,000 daily users, and the company said it had become a “huge success” with advertisers. “[They] have quickly adopted it as a creative advertising vehicle – a highly effective and measurable medium for reaching top-quality target audiences,” said the company in a release.
La Presse owner Power Corporation supported the decision with “conviction and consistency,” said Crevier, in a release.
La Presse+ readers spend an average of 40 minutes a day with the app on weekdays, 60 minutes on Saturdays and 50 minutes on Sunday. The publication said it had proven a powerful tool for “renewing and rejuvenating” its audience, successfully reaching and retaining adults 25-54, who comprise 63% of its readership.
The company also announced it would absorb the resources of digital sales company Olive Media into its organization effective Jan. 1, providing advertisers with a “one-stop solution” for its various platforms.
“La Presse will therefore benefit from the one-of-a-kind digital expertise of the Olive Media team, renowned in the advertising industry for the quality of its customer service and the excellence of its ad operations, in strengthening its multiplatform offering,” said the release.
La Presse also partnered with the Toronto Star on the launch of its app-based product Star Touch. The free app-based product, which utilizes La Presse+’s technology platform, formally launched on Tuesday.