News Corp Australia is launching a freemium subscription model for digital content across six of its regional newspapers. The NT News will be the first title to introduce the freemium model followed by The Townsville Bulletin, Geelong Advertiser, Gold Coast Bulletin, The Cairns Post and The Mercury.
News Corp Australia managing director metro and regional publishing Damian Eales said: “Customer behaviour and news consumption is evolving and while print remains vitally important, people use multiple platforms to stay informed throughout the day. We are committed to providing regional communities with quality local and national journalism and we believe our outstanding content is worth paying for online as well as offline.”
The introduction of the freemium model – a mixture of free and premium content – will give regional digital subscribers access to premium content and exclusive stories from News Corp Australia’s regional and metro publications, all in one place.
The new regional subscription packages will give digital subscribers a great range of benefits including:
- Unrestricted digital access to their regional publication as well as premium content from The Daily Telegraph, Courier-Mail, Herald Sun, and Adelaide Advertiser on all devices.
- Digital print editions – an exact replica of the paper as it’s printed each day, available on all devices online or in the App.
- +Rewards – an exclusive member-only rewards program with a range of benefits including monthly offers, giveaways, unique experiences and competitions.
- Fox Sports digital subscription – access to live streams, on-demand replays and extended highlights of selected matches and events, as well as weekly entertainment shows like AFL360 and NRL360.
- SuperCoach Gold – get ahead of the competition with detailed statistics, advanced data and projections on player scores.
- Weekend papers home delivered at no extra cost.
The regional freemium model rollout aims to replicate the success achieved when paywalls were introduced on News Corp’s metro titles several years ago.
“We launched paywalls for the metro mastheads in a phased approach and there were many learnings from this that we will now take to our regional titles. We know that customers and readers are willing to pay for a broad range of great content online and in print; we have more people paying more money for more content and our goal is to replicate this in our regional strategy,” said Eales.