Demand for local and international marine news NOW fuels growth
by Brendan Maxwell on 25 Apr 2009
As consumers spend more time on the Internet than in front of television, online marine news have long passed boating magazines as a marine news and information source.
Circulations are decreasing as is ad revenue, forcing publishers to scale back their print titles and move online. MIAA
While there are still more than 70 marine print magazines published across the Asia Pacific, their influence continues to wane.
While some of them are just quietly closing their doors, as did Yaffa’s Powerboat magazine last year, others are reducing their yearly issues. Modern Boating, now owned by News Limited once published eleven times yearly has now dropped back to a bi-annual publication - that's just two issues a year! Once a marine flag ship Australian Yachting has dropped in circulation to less than 2,000, it is now bi-monthly and other magazines like Yaffa's Marine Business magazine have halved in page numbers in the last 12 months..
Monthly subscriptions numbers for many well known marine print magazines are less than half of what they were before the Internet arrived.
Now the big audiences, as Australian sailor of note Rupert Murdoch predicted, - the global readers - are online.
Nowadays TetraMedia’s online marine news sites in the Asia Pacific, www.Sail-World.com, www.Powerboat-World.com and www.MarineBusinessNews.com between them handle more than 90% of the entire Asia Pacific Marine news traffic
The online news industry only goes back a little more than a decade.
In 1997, Queensland web developer Aaron Goldwater started the pioneer sailing site Sailing-online. It was his first venture in publishing.
Sydney sailor, Rob Kothe came to the internet publishing world in 1998 from a strong newspaper background as well as an IT background.
His father was the Chairman of the Board of a newspaper group with a string of rural newspapers, each focused around their own communities, but deliveringstrong overall synergy.
TetraMedia started Sail-World in 2000 with a much stronger emphasis on local news and within 18 months, the faltering market leader Sailing-online was taken over by its rapidly growing rival.
There have been from time to time fifteen marine news sites on the scene in Australasia, they all failed to recognise the need for strong local news resources, blended with the best international news and they have either closed their sites, or failed to grow audiences beyond their small traffic of early years.
Around the world there hae been websites spending staggering sums on online sailing news but they just did not listened to what sailors wanted. Many very large sailing magazines with circulations 20 times that of Australian marine print publications have failed to cut the mustard with their websites, because they have not invested in the right technology.
Kothe says’ 'We have spent a lot of time and energy ensuring we have very detailed feedback systems so we know just what our audience wants. We know exactly what our subscribers are reading and we've worked hard over many years to deliver what they enjoy most.
'We knew from Day One that a single website could never justify the technical and news resources needed to satisfy the marine news reader, who wanted a blend of local news and key international stories. To do that requires an international network of regional sites and thats what we have built.
'TetraMedia now operates the largest online marine news network in the world. The first site in the group started in 1997. It now has regional sites around the world, with Sail-World UK, Sail-World Europe, Sail-World Asia, Sail-World NZ, Sail-World USA, Sail-World Australia Racing, Sail-World Cruising International, Sail-World Australia/NZ Cruising, Powerboat-World and MarineBusiness-World.
Each week, more than 150,000 newsletters are sent to Sail-World, Powerboat-World and MarineBusiness-World subscribers, by its eight editors.
'While we starting with racing sailing, our Cruising audience world-wide is now huge and our Powerboat-world.com audience has grown rapidly over the last two years, busting through 30,000 newsletter readers per week in February 2009.
'Our Marine Business News online site is already the largest marine industry news source in the Asia Pacific, as businesses know they need serious marine news immediately not in a month or three.'
TetraMedia invested heavily in geo-location technology which allows advertisers to advertise in just one city, or around the world.
TetraMedia publishes around 900 stories each month across the group and now delivers local and international news to 125,000 readers. Around the world, there is not another marine news source which delivers such a combination.
With marine industry advertisers looking closely at their budgets, the rapid trend from print to interactive (Internet) media continues.
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