The West Australian introduces digital subscriptions and paywall

Seven West Media’s The West Australian has introduced a digital subscription model for its platform

The publisher said this will include a ‘freemium’ model as well as the option to subscribe to exclusive content for $1 per day.

The West Australian has started its paywall push

Seven West Media’s WA CEO, Maryna Fewster, said the move will allow the publisher to produce deeper content, and understand what consumers want from the publication.

“As media consumption habits evolve, we have made a commitment to provide our audience with the best journalism whether in print or online. The introduction of digital subscriptions to will allow for a deeper content experience for our subscribers, and for us, a better understanding of the content that West Australians want to read,” Fewster said.

“Introducing a business to consumer subscription model diversifies our revenue opportunities, further solidifying the future growth of our business. The technical solution and content strategy has been developed right here in WA and I’m proud of how the teams have worked together to bring this to life.”

The West Australian’s senior editor Anthony De Ceglie – who came across from his previous role as deputy editor of News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph in Sydney at the start of the year – said he was excited to take forward into a new era of digital journalism.

“At the heart of our strategy is that our readers are passionate about the journalism we produce every single day,” he said.

“Under a subscription model, we can offer digital premium customers a richer experience where they access exclusive in-depth special investigations, unrivalled commentary on the issues of the day and second-to-none AFL coverage of the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers.

The West Australian’s digital subscription options

“We look forward to rolling out the first of a series of special online journalism projects for those who subscribe to in the coming days.”

Speaking to Mumbrella earlier this year, De Ceglie anticipated the biggest task would be convincing the audience of the merits and motivations of a paywall.

“Putting The West behind a paywall for the first time, and getting that to work, and properly communicating to the audience why we are doing it and why it’s the future of journalism, why we need their support and why the money is worth it [is the biggest challenge],” he said.

He noted the Claremont serial killer case was going to trial in mid 2019, and said he hoped the paywall would be able to capitalise on that.

“We know that true crime is such a big driver of subscriptions and such a big driver of eyeballs and audiences that I really want to have us behind the paywall before then, so we can explain to our readers why that journalism is actually worth their money, why the quality is worth their money.

“I really believe that at the end of the day the one thing we know is that news works, and that people devour news. They are probably devouring more news than they ever have, and it’s about how we get that news to them and convince them it is worth paying for.”

De Ceglie: ‘True crime is such a big driver of subscriptions ‘

De Ceglie also noted a paywall would help the publisher use more News Corp content. The West Australian has a content sharing agreement with News Corp, allowing The West Australian to use any News Corp content in its print editions. Until a paywall was introduced, however, The West Australian could not repurpose the content for its digital platform.

“It will come in really handy when we put The West behind a paywall,” he said back in March. “So at the moment, although we have access to the content in print, we can’t use it unless it’s behind a paywall online.”

The Everyday Digital subscription now costs $1 per day, and includes digital editions of The West Australian and The Sunday Times. For $2 more per week, subscribers can also have The Weekend West and The Sunday times delivered.

The paper called for voluntary redundancies in March as it looked to integrate the newsrooms of The Sunday Times, The West Australian, Perth Now and


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