9:00 PM EST, December 1, 2012
Starting tomorrow, The Advocate-Messenger will join a growing list of newspapers that charge for unlimited access to their websites. The costs will be reasonable and those who subscribe to the printed edition will get a significant discount.
We’re not trying to gouge anyone. We know times are tough for a lot of people. We know this move isn’t going to be popular.
This is a transition time for the entire newspaper industry. Thousands of people still rely on the printed daily paper for their news and thousands more rely on our website. Currently, the printed paper is very strong and pays the bills, but we don’t know what the future holds.
More and more long-time newspaper readers are migrating from the printed newspaper to digital platforms. Over the past few years, we’ve worked hard and spent a lot of money to keep up with the times. We have a robust website, an electronic edition of the paper, a mobile app and numerous other digital platforms for making sure the public knows what’s going on in our communities.
To make sure we can continue to serve this area for years to come, we’ve got to find a business model that works for our digital offerings. Advertising on our websites is a great way for businesses to reach customers, but the level of competition online and the limited number of premium ad locations makes it unlikely that online advertising alone can support a local news operation.
The challenge now is to make sure all The Advocate’s subscribers — print and online — get their money’s worth. To this end, the paper is creating a loyalty club for its subscribers.
In the future, members of this club — our subscribers — will get far more than just their local news. We’re creating a list of classified categories where members may place ads for free. We’re going to be offering discounts for social postings. We’re working with area businesses to offer additional discounts to our members as well. There are going to be members-only contests and giveaways.
We believe our news product is valuable to this community. We want to continue to provide that service for years to come. We also want to make sure that our subscribers have no doubt that their subscription is a good investment.
To find out more about online subscriptions, go to amnews.com.
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