AAP launches app, offering direct-to-consumer subscription service for the first time

As reported in this morning’s Nine Entertainment Co mastheads, the Australian Associated Press is set to diversify its funding model, offering a subscription direct to consumers for the first time.

Both titles reported that the decision is looking for alternate revenue streams, to avoid an over-reliance on government funding.

The AAP is to go direct to consumers for the first time

The new subscription offering will be made available through its new app, to be launched today for an initial price of $10 a month.

Speaking to Mumbrella, recently appointed CEO of AAP, Lisa Davies said that the app and offering come after the AAP had received many requests as to how people could help the newswire service.

Former SMH editor and new AAP CEO, Lisa Davies

“This is the answer,” she said.

“We’re not trying to make the AAP the top news provider in the country,” Davies continued, as she said she would be happy if a couple of thousand people signed up to the new offering.

Davies took on her new role last month, after stepping down as editor of the Sydney Morning Herald in October, a role she was in for five years.

As part of the subscription, the paywalled offering will offer a selection of top stories, stories, and world stories, with a daily 7am newsletter offering five key articles, three sports stories and one topic of focus.

“It is mainly for keen news consumers who want to know what is going on,” Davies said, as she added that it is an opportunity for the major donors to the AAP to see what they are funding.

On future potential funding models, Davies rejected the suggestion that the AAP might eventually look to advertising as a revenue stream, with the paywalled content being the extent of the changes presently.

After a two-year period finding stability after the almost-closure, Davies said that the AAP is in a healthy position, and looks to continue to fill the gap in people’s knowledge and appetite for impartial coverage.

She said that aside from Nine and News Corp, the service has retained 95% of its clients, with the 5% being COVID casualties, rather than a loss of trust. Further, she said the AAP has a shared readership potentially reaching an estimated 15 million Australians at any given time, also continuing to employ 85 journalists across the country.

The AAP is one of the publishers named in the Facebook News Fund, revealed earlier this month. In the 2021 budget, the government provided $15 million over two years to the AAP, following an initial commitment of $5 million in the back end of 2020.


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