Guardian Australia launches Australia Weekend, a digital and subscriber-only ‘weekend newspaper’

Guardian Australia has unveiled the Australia Weekend app, a ‘reimagination of the traditional weekend newspaper’ offering subscribers early access to each weekend’s stories and a curated selection of news and analysis from throughout the week.

Each edition will be available for download at 6am Saturdays, and, the publisher said, allow readers to “reflect, understand, and make sense of the week  –  at their own pace, at a time and place that suits them”.

Australia Weekend will be part of Guardian Australia’s digital subscription offering

Guardian Australia conducted research and conversations with readers in the lead up to the ideation of Australia Weekend, which will be available to download as an app on iOS and Android phones and tablets. There was demand for a finite product to break the cycle of scrolling through social media feeds, it said.

“The Australia Weekend app is the result of in-depth research into what our readers want,” explained managing director, Dan Stinton.

“This is a way to access the best Guardian journalism, carefully curated for the weekend, in an app that has been specifically designed to have a beginning, middle and end – all without the distraction of breaking news in an ad-free environment.

“This launch is an important evolution of our reader revenue strategy, giving Australian readers a new way to support the Guardian through digital subscriptions.”

The app will become the main focus of Guardian Australia’s updated digital subscription bundle, and costs $10.75 per month for the first three months – an introductory offer – and $21.50 per month after that. Readers can save 20% by committing to an annual subscription for $174.99, and try the product with a free 14-day trial.

Several editions are already available to view through the app.

Subscribers will also have access to premium features within Guardian Australia’s other app, Live, which focuses on breaking news, and experience ad-free reading across all devices.

Editor Lenore Taylor added that the Australia Weekend’s launch comes at a time where more Australians are turning to the Guardian – it achieved its highest-ever traffic in response to its COVID-19 reporting – and are willing to pay for it. In the past year, the site’s reader donation model has attracted contributions from more than 150,000 people.

“More and more Australians are relying on Guardian Australia to provide a trusted, independent voice,” Taylor said.

“At the same time, readers tell us they want space, away from the grind of constant breaking news, to catch up on what’s most important and understand what it means.

“Australia Weekend combines the best bits of a print weekend newspaper with the convenience and style of the digital medium. It’s the best of both worlds — the weekend paper in the palm of your hand.

“Each edition provides subscribers with early access to some of the best journalism we have planned for our website over the weekend, as well as a considered selection of the week’s essential journalism from Australia and the world, providing space to reflect and make sense of the week.”

Earlier this year, Guardian Australia created a COVID-19 ‘stimulus package’, promising that every brand advertising with the masthead for the 19/20 financial year would receive a credit of the same value to be used in the same, or a future, campaign.

A month later, it received a $200,000 donation from VivCourt to support its ongoing COVID-19 reporting.


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