News Corp launches regional freemium subscription model on NT News

News Corp is putting six of its regional newspapers behind a paywall, with the popular NT News the first masthead to introduce the freemium subscription model.

NT News

The newspaper publisher – which also publishes national broadsheet The Australian and metro title The Daily Telegraph – flagged the introduction of a freemium paywall model in July.

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.”

News Corp publications The Townsville Bulletin, Geelong Advertiser, Gold Coast Bulletin, The Cairns Post and The Mercury are all set to introduce the freemium paywall.

The regional subscription packages will offer:

  • 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 packages are very similar to APN News & Media digital subscriptions which include access to a number of News Corp properties including its rewards program, Fox Sports and Presto.

News Corp is looking to beef up its regional operations with the purchase of APN News & Media’s Australian Regional Media division.

The implementation of a paywall will look to replicate News Corp’s metro success at a regional level and is reflective of industry views that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable paying for content.

Eales said: “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.”


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