Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

News Corp., launches digital-only subscriptions

Mark Fletcher
November 23rd, 2017 · 1 Comment

News Corp. has launched app-only digital-only subscription offers for major capital city daily newspapers –The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser.

This move is a departure from the model followed up to now, one whereby print editions were involved – even if only for two days a week as was the case for some packages.

While this move seeks to grow the digital subscriber base, it also offers the opportunity of speculation about where the company sees print in its future.

Mediaweek has more on the story.

With over the counter print sales remaining in steep decline, separating the digital subscription offer from a print offer makes sense. I know of people who said they would not subscribe while they had to take print product.

Checking the Herald Sun website, the subscription price is $3.50 a week. This feels high to me, compared to digital-only subscriptions for other titles with which I already engage. Time will tell.

In addition to recently upgrading there apps for its capital city mastheads, News Corp. is provoking a better online experience. When I was on their website looking at subscription offers, this popped up…

This reflects a best-practice approach to customer service – making contact easy. The only point of friction is the limited hours of access to speak with someone. Online today = 24/7 availability.

From a traditional newsagent perspective, the digital-only subscription move by News Corp. is a message to not rely on print newspapers as one may have in the past. Sales are only hearing in one direction.

While it feels like a slow slide, at some point, when it commercially suits a publisher, print editions of newspapers have been and will be cut.

The News Corp. move shows a company maintaining the customer connection regardless of the method of connection.

I don’t begrudge News Corp. doping what they are doing. If anything, their move is late. The needs of their shareholders are well served by offering digital-only subscriptions as they now offer.

Newsagents need to:

  1. Chase new traffic to replace newspaper shopper traffic.
  2. Manage newspapers in the business to have the lowest operating cost possible.
  3. Locate newspapers as an impulse purchase more so than a destination purchase.
  4. Only do newspaper promotions if they are stand-alone commercially viable.
  5. Understand the money they make from newspapers and make business decisions accordingly. If you are making good money, embrace and support the product to make more.

In fact, these steps should have been taken years ago.

15 likes

Category: Newspapers

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Colin, Malvern SA // Nov 23, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    Agree….. $3.50 seems excessive for the Advertiser

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