The UK’s biggest-selling regional daily has revealed plans to create a paywall on its website in an attempt to add value and boost circulation.
Wolverhampton daily the Express & Star is proposing to launch a new ‘premium’ part of its website, which will be sold to readers as part of a print and online subscription package.
The Midlands News Association title will continue to publish highlights of the day’s news on the front page of its website, which will remain free-to-view, but other content will be behind the paywall.
Deputy editor Keith Harrison revealed the move at a journalism conference in London today.
He said: “Other [regional publishers] have tried paywall content – some with varying results. I think the difference to what we’re doing is we’re not putting it behind the paywall as a standalone package.
“We’re not trying to sell this as a standalone, in competition to the hard copy paper. It’s a package to add value and help the overall circulation.”
Under the move, editors will decide which stories will appear on which side of the paywall on a case-by-case basis.
Keith told journalism.co.uk the paywall is expected to be launched within the next few months and a charging structure for the subscription package has not been finalised.
He said: “If it’s a model that proves successful it will be rolled out across the group.”
No one from the Express & Star wanted to comment further.