Digital paid subscriptions overtake 10,000
THE Herald has announced a year-on-year increase in paid-for readership in the year to June 2014.
Bucking the national trend, the Group has delivered a net increase in paying readership across The Herald’s print and digital platforms. Online paid subscriptions have also surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time in June 2014.
This increase has been attributed to the success of both ‘digital only’ and ‘combination digital and print’ subscription packages.
Heraldscotland.com also saw the number of total unique monthly visitors to the site jump 50 per cent to nearly two million from a year earlier.
At eveningtimes.co.uk, which does not currently have registration or subscription, visitor numbers jumped by 80 per cent to over 700,000.
Herald & Times Group managing director, Tim Blott, said: “Our early decision to charge for digital content proves that readers are still very much willing to pay for quality journalism and our digital products continue to go from strength to strength in terms of paying readership, audience and advertising revenue growth.
“Our decision to charge for digital content was considered brave two and half years ago, but it’s flattering to see that most other regional newspaper groups are now following our lead. There have been reports elsewhere that trends in digital access are slowing, but that’s certainly not our experience.
“I’ve repeatedly said that we’ll continue to produce a print product for as long as people want it but readership access figures speak for themselves and from this, we see nothing but opportunity.
“I could never have hoped to sell two million copies of our print versions but digitally, if we continue to deliver quality journalism to a worldwide audience, the potential reach and influence of heraldscotland.com is greater than ever before.”
The Herald & Times Group was the first regional media company in the UK to introduce digital subscriptions, back in December, 2011.
The trend towards online consumption for The Herald is now growing faster than ever, with more than 125 per cent growth in online subscriptions in the year to June 2014, with the rate of increase growing in the last quarter.
Editor of The Herald, Magnus Llewellin, added: “The whole news industry continues to face challenges in capitalising on this growing digital influence, but our first priority is to maintain a quality and appealing product for which people will willingly pay.
“So far, heraldscotland.com remains well ahead of the curve and we continue to grow in confidence alongside our influence in a rapidly evolving landscape.”
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Notes for editors:
Readers to heraldscotland.com can access three full articles every four weeks before being prompted to register. Registered users can then read three more articles within four weeks before being offered a subscription of £1 for the first month’s access, then from £2.99 per month for web only to £5.99 for web, mobile and tablet use. Subscribers to The Herald print edition get digital access free.
Heraldscotland.com also produces apps available from the Apple App Store and Android’s Google Play.
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