A few days ago, a rumour caught my eye on Twitter that the Mail Online may be about to launch an Australian edition. The story came from influencing.com.au following a host of domain registrations by Mail Online parent group DMG Media.
For anyone not familiar with the Mail Online, it’s a pretty big deal. Originally from the UK, it conquered the US and is now one of the biggest news sites in the world (they recently recorded monthly unique visitors of 100 million).
The key driver behind its success is said to be the site’s strength in showbiz. With a team of reporters dedicated to churning out hundreds of celeb-focused stories each day, it’s become most women’s lunch time gossip fix, even being described as ‘journalism crack.’ Despite the questionable politics of its sister paper, The Daily Mail, there’s no denying the Mail Online is a business currently working a winning formula.
So what would the MailOnline.com.au mean for Australia? I’d be interested to hear what you think, but here’s a couple of thought-starters.
Firstly, to anyone who’s spent a lot of time in the UK or US, it’s clear that the Aussies don’t have the same obsession with celebrity. As a website that has built fans based on its 24/7 celeb news, it would be interesting to see whether it takes off in quite the same way over here.
For advertisers, it will definitely be one to watch in terms of publisher innovation. Historically, the Mail Online has tended to sell most of its inventory via third party ad networks, but recently it has started to experiment a lot more. One example is an affiliate marketing programme for retailers, where it takes a commission when readers buy a product after following an editorial link.
Although an Australian launch is not yet confirmed, if major brands Buzzfeed and The Guardian launching online in Oz are anything to go by, we might just see an Australian Mail Online in the not too distant future.
Gemma Boucher is an Account Director at BCM