Auto Trader owner Trader Media Group to close print portfolio next month

Trader Media Group (TMG), publisher of titles Auto Trader and Van Trader, will close all print editions across its portfolio next month as it rolls out a digital-first strategy.

The publisher, jointly owned by Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners, is ending its print editions after 36 years following a drop in print sales and a rise in demand for its digital properties., now regarded as the go-to online marketplace in the UK for buying and selling new and used vehicles has 380,000 new and used vehicles available on the site.

Print circulation of Auto Trader dropped by 341,000 during the last 13 years, with the total resting at 27,000 in March 2013.

Whereas demand for its digital platforms has seen website and mobile traffic soar for the Auto Trader brand in particular. Mobile traffic has spiked 67 per cent, while tablet traffic has risen 130 per cent year on year, reaching a total of more than 3.5m mobile visitors each month, according to TMG. Autotrader website traffic has also grown 13 per cent year on year, generating 11m monthly unique visitors.

The final print magazines will be published on 28 June and will feature a five-page front cover pull-out collector’s edition showcasing the most popular cars from the last 36 years.

Meanwhile a limited digital edition of its first digital magazine cover comprising video content will also be available to those who enter an Autotrader competition on the site in June.

Zillah Byng Maddick, Interim CEO at Trader Media Group, said: “Trader Media Group’s magazines have played a key role in the Group’s 36 year heritage and we are very proud of the market position our brands have achieved during that period.

"With a marked shift by consumers and dealers to online platforms as a means of accessing information and buying and selling vehicles, we continue to innovate to ensure that we offer them the products and services they require through their channels of choice.”

TMG is ramping up its mobile strategy, launching a new mobile service that lets individuals sell their cars directly from their smartphone. The product will be available later this year.

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