British ex-pat media struggle for finances in Spain as the economy crashes and advertising drops

British Expat media in Spain starts to struggle: British ex-pat media outlets are finding it tough to survive as advertising rates fall through the floor as well as suffer many cancelled contracts due to the recent pandemic.

The latest casualty is the small outlet based on the Costa del Sol known as The Olive Press edited by Jon Clarke.

The Olive Press who have been asking for donations of late in an attempt to survive during the pandemic financially have today announced they have to set up a paywall subscription service due to lack of advertising revenues.

Although the title ” dressed up their reasoning and made some wild claims in their announcement such as “safeguarding real news and supplying totally original content.” It came on a day when as often despite their claims, they scraped news from Global247news, the perfect example being just an article today, we Global published at 9.30 AM to find the Olive Press ‘scraped ‘ the article and ran it near enough word for word @12.17PM.

Despite the claims of the Olive Press of their original content, the other claim is that of rapid expansion.  Although, a former employee of the title cited it as ” over expansion”  as he told Global247news this evening: ” The Problem has always been Jon Clarke’s ego and his battles with the other newspaper title in Spain. Known as the Euro Weekly News, he’s been obsessed with them for years. He tried expanding his newspaper all over Mallorca, where basically it has flopped as well as recently up the Costa Blanca. At a time when newspapers are dying anyway even before the pandemic”

“It wasn’t a clever business plan. It was like trying to sell bacon rolls on Israel beach – but his ego ruled his heart instead of engaging his brain.” the former employee added.

British Expat media in Spain starts to struggle, asking for donations

It’s also been reported of late in the local community of the Costa del Sol, whilst asking for donations from his readers, the editor himself, Jon Clarke, has enrolled his young son into one of the top 6 private schools in Andalucia.

The former employee said: ” We couldn’t believe it in the office as we went to the market asking for donations and JC was filling out an application form for the private school in San Pedro, Marbella”

Time will only tell if the Olive Press who haven’t released any accounts for the last 2 years survive. However, with numbers falling for all British ex-pat newspapers in Spain, as well as cancelled contracts for advertising if the pandemic continues will there be any left?

Expats will though be pleased to hear though that Global247news since recently entering the Spanish market, adding it to its global operations is here to stay. We will never go to a paywall as it’s not reliant on advertising revenues to support itself.

Digital news has been the way forward for over 15 years now. But for some reason in Spain, newspaper titles continued despite the drop in advertising rates due to online marketing. Coupled with rising print costs that run into several thousands of pounds each week.

“The Newspaper formula doesn’t work any more, especially in the free newspaper sector. Free newspapers died years ago in the UK and they will die here.” said former News Of The World regional manager Tony Rees. “If you can’t do it online you might as well pack up and retire, although you have to have a very strong loyal readership to go with a paywall. I can’t see a free newspaper pulling it off in my opinion” he finished.

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