APN bolsters its new regional paywalls offering readers access to a slew of News Corp assets

APNAPN News & Media has rolled out details of its new digital subscriptions today which include access to a number of News Corp properties including its rewards program, Fox Sports and Presto.

Today’s announcement is the first signal of a closer tie-up between APN and News Corp, which acquired a 14.9 per cent stake in APN in March. It also comes the day after Michael Miller stepped down as the boss of APN to return to his former employer as executive chairman of News Corp Australasia.

From August 25 Australian Regional Media title the Toowoomba Chronicle will be the first to launch a paywall, with subscribers getting unrestricted digital access to News Corp’s The Courier-Mail, membership to The Courier-Mail’s +Rewards program, digital subscription access to Fox Sports’ online website and three months access to Presto Entertainment, half-owned by News Corp backed Foxtel.

They will also get 52 weeks access to The Washington Post’s digital assets.

APN announced it would be setting up paywalls for its daily regional mastheads in May.

News Corp Australia managing director – metro and regional publishing Damian Eales said in a statement: “It’s clear now that people will happily pay for quality digital content, and so it is great to see ARM, one of Australia’s leading regional publishers, launching digital subscriptions.

“We are delighted to be working with ARM in strengthening their digital subscription offering, which will benefit millions of readers, and we are thrilled to be expanding the reach of our content and +Rewards program into regional communities across Queensland and Northern New South Wales.”

APN’s Queensland publications include the Sunshine Coast Daily, The Gympie Times,Gladstone’s The Observer, Mackay’s Daily Mercury and Rockhampton’s The Morning Bulletin.

The package will see visitors to The Chronicle website able to view 10 articles a month before being invited to subscribe to The Chronicle Unlimited, a subscription which gives the user unlimited digital access to the masthead online, full access to the paper’s mobile and tablet apps and full access to a digital replica of the paper’s print edition.



ARM chief executive officer Neil Monaghan said in a statement: “ARM will be delivering incredible value to its readers through its digital subscription offering. Through a single digital subscription to The Chronicle, or other subsequent ARM digital subscription products, our subscribers will gain unrivalled, unrestricted access to the best news and information from their local city, their state and the world, and will be able to enjoy some fantastic products, benefits and rewards.

“This will be the best value news digital subscription package in the country for as little as $3 per week for the first 12 weeks.”

Director of sales, products and technology of Australian Regional Media Clayton Cooke told Mumbrella in May the plan was not just to duplicate the same offers across difference markets.

“We will start with one and it is all about iterating – this is not about set and forgot – and it is not the same for each market,” he said.

It is about what works here and maybe doesn’t work there and fine tuning it on a market by market basis. We won’t flick them all on at the same time.

Other digital subscriptions will be launch across other ARM titles over time, with the offer set to be similar across its titles in regional Queensland. In northern NSW, subscribers will receive unrestricted digital access to The Daily Telegraph and membership to its +Rewards program.

“We believe that our digital subscription product is an important step in ensuring a sustainable and commercially viable future for ARM,” said Monaghan.

A subscription to ‘The Chronicle Unlimited’ will give users:

  • Unlimited digital access to The Chronicle online;
  • Full access to The Chronicle’s new responsive mobile and tablet apps ensuring subscribers have access to the latest news and information from Toowoomba when and where they are;
  • Full access to a digital replica of The Chronicle’s print edition in an easy-to-use, convenient and familiar format
  • Unrestricted digital access to The Courier-Mail;
  • Membership to The Courier-Mail’s +Rewards program providing rewards such as free e-books from HarperCollins and digital magazine subscriptions to NewsLifeMedia titles such as GQ, magazine and Vogue Australia;
  • Digital subscription access to FOX SPORTS’ online website including the live streaming of FOX SPORTS news, on-demand replays and extended video highlights;
  • 52 weeks of FREE digital access – on your computer, smartphone and tablet — to The Washington Post, one of the world’s leading newspaper publishers;
  • Three months access to the Presto Entertainment bundle, a TV and movie streaming service offering an extensive catalogue of popular movies and complete seasons of great local and international TV shows which can be watched ad-free and on-demand.

Miranda Ward



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