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Analysis: Hispanic Publications- Home Delivery or Rack Distribution? (Premium Content)

This is what the experts have to say. The state of the art as reported by Portada's editorial team.


An important aspect impacting the response to advertising in newspapers and magazines is whether they are home delivered or not.

Retail Advertisers, the lifeblood of many newspapers, tend to like home delivery because their advertising, often preprints, get right to the home of the Hispanic housewife, the purchase decision maker. Often home delivered publications are delivered on Wednesday, a good day for retailers to get traffic into their stores through preprints or on Friday/Saturday, when they are a good vehicle for companies offering weekend entertainment options (Movie theaters, Shows, Restaurants etc).

The problem about home-delivery for publishers is that it can be very expensive. Home delivery can more than triple distribution costs versus rack distribution.

Most Hispanic newspapers are free and rack distributed. Hora Hispana, published by The Daily News in New York will be relaunched in New York on April 14. While it used to be a home delivered publication, it will now mostly be handed out to consumers in select areas. Areas are selected with the needs of advertisers and location of prime consumers in mind. 

Warren Zeller: "Delivering anything to the home is more effective than leaving a publication in a rack in a retail environment." 

Hispanic newspapers Impacto USA (Orange County) as well as Hoy’s Fin de Semana (Los Angeles and Chicago) and Impremedia’s Contigo (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) are free home delivered publications. Most of Al Dia’s Texas distribution is home delivered and so is its competitors La Estrella en Casa.

Other publishers have different approaches to save the high distribution costs of a full home – delivery model.. Orange County’s Excelsior has an interesting model: 22% of its distribution is home delivered to requesters (opt in). While Excelsior does not saturate whole Hispanic neighborhoods with home delivered newspapers, it does only send its weekly newspaper to households who wish to receive it. This approach has two advantages: It does not waste distribution in Homes that are not Hispanic or don’t want to receive the publication and it saves costs. The disadvantage is that the optin circulation may not be large enough to meet the demands of some advertisers.

Home delivered magazines in the Hispanic market include Nexos Latinos, published by Eclipse Marketing, Nexos Latinos is a quarterly magazine which is designed to entertain, educate, and create relevant value for cable products. The magazine was launched in the fall of 2009 and is distributed nationwide with a circulation of 900,000.

What the experts say

“There is no question that delivering anything to the home is more effective than leaving a publication in a rack in a retail environment. It also gives the home/apartment dweller the feeling that you care enough for them to mail them your publication. Mailing is definitely more expensive, but in the case of Nexos Latinos, we think it is worth it", Warren Zeller, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Eclipse Marketing Services tells Portada .

Randy Novak, Director of Strategic Insights/Marketing at NSA Media, which has major retailers as its clients including WalMart, Office Depot and Sears, says that matching up messaging to the right audience, leveraging neighborhood insights, is a priority to him. “FSIs are a major investment for our clients, so ensuring pieces are delivered direct to households that want them is critical. Our preference for any FSI delivery is always through a home-delivered product. To take it one step further, we also prefer paid or “Opt-in” based products that are audited. Most Single-copy/rack products do not have 100% sell-through/pick-up rates, so any that remain with inserts included are waste, and costly to the advertiser. In addition, many rack delivered products are not dailies, so the product itself may outlast the sale cycle for the FSI. Most of our advertisers prefer to deliver within a day of the actual sale start date and many rack-delivered products do not align with preferred days of week.”

Established Habits

Novak recognizes that the newspaper readership experience may differ based on established habits specific to certain geographic areas and cultural backgrounds. For example, consumers in urban areas such as New York or Chicago may be more accustomed to purchasing a newspaper at their local newsstands; and in Hispanic areas it has been customary for newspapers to be sold in public areas through vendors and racks, and many of those habits have carried forward today. Therefore, we take these usage habits into consideration when evaluating the most effective FSI buy.”
Novak points out an interesting fact, that has to be taken into account in the home-delivery vs rack distribution equation. In many countries of origins of Hispanics, e.g. Mexico,
most newspapers are bought on newsstands not via home delivered subscriptions.

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