Newspapers and magazine inserts are bucking the downward trend of printed media according to new figures which show a 6% year-on-year increase between 2010 and 2011.
Saturday supplements carried the largest amount of inserts in Q4 2011 (359m), just over a third of the total 1bn across daily papers and weekend newspapers and supplements for the period, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Inserts Council report, published on 11 September.
Sunday newspapers showed the biggest growth in the second half of 2011 when they grew by 108% in Q3 compared to same period in the previous year (18.2m to 37.8m).
DMA Insert Council vice chair Steve Hickman said: "The inserts market is more diverse than ever - they have evolved from simply being an advertising medium to a form of communication which people are using as a way of interacting with brands.
"I think the level of targetability has been one of the reasons that inserts are bucking the downward trend for other print media.
"The other is the fact that they do seem to be able to elicit online response to a greater level than some other media. This is why retailers have seen the benefits of inserts – they can drive footfall, but they also drive clicks.
"It’s telling that levels of online engagement with inserts continue to rise. As digital media continues to evolve, I think we’ll see more of this offline-to-online interaction, and inserts look set to play a key role in this".
However, the number of inserts placed in Sunday supplements between July to September 2011 fell to 234m compared to 261m in same quarter of the previous year.
DMA Inserts Council attributed the drop to the July 2011 closure of News of the World (NOTW), which carried inserts only in its Sunday supplements due to inserting restrictions on the newspaper run at Newsprinters’ Broxbourne site.
An immediate drop in inserts in Sunday supplements was seen in Q4 2011 – they carried 30% less inserts between October and December than the previous period, during which NOTW closed.
This downward trend continued across all publishing sectors as all featured less inserts by the end of 2011 than in Q3. Daily newspapers dropped their insert numbers by nearly a third compared to the previous quarter while Sunday supplements saw a 30% decrease in inserts.