Auto Trader Goes Digital

Tuesday 2nd July, 2013

Picture the scene.

You're sat with your mates in the local greasy spoon, eating a fry up after the big party the night before. One of them looks up...

"Shall we buy an RS Turbo?"


"A Ford Escort RS Turbo...Mk 4. I'm looking at this one in Auto Trader and reckon if we all threw in £50 that we could go and buy"

He then proceeds to throw his copy of Auto Trader across the table so everybody could take a look.

"But what about a Renault 5 GT Turbo?" suggests another, having turned over a few pages.

Little has changed with the younger generation, except for one thing - they're no longer looking through a magazine. Instead of sharing one copy of the magazine between a group of six, everybody now has a copy of the app on their phone - well, everybody except that one who insists on sticking with his BlackBerry as "the battery life is better".

Like BlackBerry, print sales of Auto Trader have been on a continual slide from a peak of 368.000 readers in January 2000 to just 27,000 readers in March 2013. In contrast, on-line editions have been rocketing skyward with the Auto Trader website achieving 11 million unique visitors a month and access from mobile devices roughly doubling on average year on year.

Needless to say, the time has come for Auto Trader to shut down those printing presses and go on-line only.

To mark the occasion, Auto Trader has created 250 special collector’s edition innovative front cover wrap magazines. The limited edition copies feature a digital screen, with video content that celebrate the brand’s 36 year heritage. These special edition magazines aren’t available to buy, but Auto Trader fans can win a copy via website and social media competitions.

The final standard issue of all the magazines - on shelves right now - has also been brought to life, instead using Blippar’s innovative image-recognition technology - allowing smartphone users to play video content, directly off the cover itself. The magazine also includes a special front cover pull out poster featuring the most iconic cars from the past five decades, as voted by users. The cover car, the Jaguar F-Type, received over 45,000 votes alone as Auto Trader fans chose it as the most iconic car.

So, if you want one last chance to experience your student life all over again...take a quick run to WH Smith...the one opposite the greasy spoon.

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