Audience fragmentation has long been associated with the transition to digital - but what if online actually makes your audience converge?
That's what is happening to newspaper audiences online, according to Enders Analysis COO Douglas McCabe.
Why? Well, McCabe told TheMediaBriefing's Digital Media Strategies conference in London today that it's a simple matter of scale.
Newspapers audiences in print have relatively predictable demographics; Sun readers tend to be younger and less affluent than Telegraph readers. But online, audiences are so large they cluster around mid-income, young(ish) users.
"All the websites of those news businees are competing for the same demographic," says McCabe. "There is an enormous convergence of audience because reach is so much larger."
That not surprisingly makes user data especially important and McCabe says publishers need to be much more aware of what data they can collect on their users. They should also be aware how much of that information is being collected by other companies.
But it also means publishers need to measure the success of their business differently by taking into account average revenue per user (ARPU) - not just profits and total revenues.
"Publishing traditionally hasn't focussed on ARPU," says McCabe. "But increasingly in a world with massive audience potential (and scale), ARPU is something that needs to be understood and be at the heart of service provision itself."
Earlier in the day, WPP Digital CEO Mark Read told the conference mobile usage would experience huge growth, but would have a deflationary impact on ad rates. However, McCabe offered some reasons to be positive for traditonal publishers.
"Quite a big proportion of online news consumption is happening on websites built by newspaper businesses, but on mobile they fare even better and get an even larger proportion of time."
"Every mobile has 30-40 apps on its screen. Those are the sites I use all the time, and that type of behaviour benefits print brands.
"That should mean for traditional publishing business that get their strategy right will be in a position to monetise mobile effectively."