The Glasgow-based Herald has launched a subscription-based digital facsimile edition to extend its reach to expatriate Scots worldwide and broaden its online appeal.
The Herald Digital, is provided by Newspaper Direct, a Vancouver-based supplier of digital print-on-demand and online distribution services for newspapers.
The new service was introduced to coincide with the restructuring of The Herald’s daily features into a new Monday to Friday tabloid section, and the redesign of many of the Saturday packages, including the award-winning colour magazine.
The majority of advertising-led supplements are to be added to the digital offering at a later date and will be offered free to readers.
Backed by extensive sales and marketing promotion, the launch has already attracted what The Herald’s digital media editor Gordon Mack describes as “an encouraging volume” of registrations and subscriptions.
A restructuring of The Herald’s existing website, one of the UK’s first regional titles to post an internet edition, is now planned. It aims to re-position the web edition which attracts more than 400,000 unique readers a month, as a complementary service to the digital edition, offering unique premium content.
Gordon said: “Commercially we are confident that there is sales potential, especially in the corporate market and for targeted publications. But it does need hard work. Facsimile editions don’t sell themselves.”
Editor Charles McGhee said: “The convergence of print and other media makes it imperative that we compete at all levels and across all platforms. I believe The Herald possesses a unique and enduring appeal for readers – and I am convinced we have the talent and skills to make it commercially attractive in print and online.”
The company is pursuing early approval from ABC for official certification of the subscriptions.
The paper is offering readers a three-day free trial as a taster for one of five tiered payment packages which range from £1.50 for a single issue to under £100 for a full year. The deals provide discounts of up to 50 per cent and more on print cover prices.