As it gears up to release its new payment strategy with PaperPay, Trinity Mirror is also set to introduce product placement into its news and features across its various news titles.
The publisher will aim to drive sales of products for advertisers and retailers through the addition of specially placed product shots and images within relevant features. The images will also be accompanied by QR Codes to drive consumers to visit the website of the brand, manufacturer or retailer of the featured product and purchase it directly.
The strategy was revealed by the Trinity Mirror's director of new business development Matt Colebourne while speaking at the Internet Retailing Expo in Birmingham.
He admitted that before moving towards a more integrated business model, the company "had an interesting situation where as a group we are the UK's largest publisher with a huge footprint and a huge and loyal audience, but until very recently we were essentially a multitude of companies, each with our own titles that didn't really work together and we weren't doing a lot that was innovative."
He continued to claim that the publisher was "about creating content and then generating an audience. Once we have that audience we should be very clear about what our role is in the commercial cycle, which is to essentially to give access to that audience to you guys [retailers]."
This led Colebourne to highlight the new Trinity Mirror commercial partnership strategy which included a promise that the company has no plans to create of a Trinity Mirror 'store'.
"That's not our business. Our business is creating an audience and then allowing the audience to buy things from you in partnerships and monetising directly through that. What you are not getting is competition from us. We are going to focus on new ways that people can interact with us through our media across all of the different platforms that we offer.
"Our vision of the future is about quality of content and the audience that generates. Whether people consume on a tablet, on a mobile or a physical paper, we don't care, in fact we will allow our online readership to switch between the two.
"The natural idea is to build the audience and if they choose to buy something as a result of that then they can do so through our environment."
This led to him present an image of an double page fashion spread featuring models wearing bras, stating that the platform offered the potential for readers to buy those items.
"The editorial team has worked in the normal way and have not been influenced by the potential for the readership to buy those items." he stated. "So they have done their usual job looking at what's current and whats happening and once they've done that, the natural reaction of the audience, if they like what they are seeing, is to ask where they can get that and ideally we can take a step further and answer that question for them. We can introduce them directly to a service which will allow them to buy directly from a page."
The Drum understands that this strategy will be introduced across the publisher's top 20 titles in April, following the introduction of QR codes within its property pages last year.
Colebourne then proceeded to highlight Monday's launch of its new payment app strategy PaperPay which will allow people to use their smartphone to pay in advance for a physical copy of The Mirror or The Sunday Mirror newspaper and collected it from a newsagent that is PayPoint or PayZone enabled through the use of a barcode voucher on the native app.
"Through that you will be able to pay for a subscription while it will allow us to offer the exact number of copies of a newspaper a week to suit the reader," he explained.
The app is already available on the Apple store, but the offer will not begin until Monday 25 March.