The UK’s biggest-selling regional daily has launched a paywall on part of its website as it aims to add value and boost circulation.
Wolverhampton-based daily the Express & Star started its new digital service Express & Star 24 yesterday.
Breaking news will continue to be available free of charge but other content such as photo galleries, match analysis and traffic and travel will be paywall-protected.
The paper is offering a print, online and smartphone package for £2.34 a week, which include delivery of the newspaper as well as access to the paywall-protected parts of the website.
Because the digital-only package is liable to VAT, this will cost £2.81 – meaning it is cheaper to access the paywall if you get the newspaper delivered as well.
The move was revealed by deputy editor Keith Harrison at a conference in London last month when he said the package would be created in an attempt to add value for readers and increase circulation.
On the paper’s website, it says: “News travels fast – and we want to bring it to you as it happens, in more ways than ever before.
“That’s why we’ve launched Express & Star 24, combining a state-of-the-art service for digital readers with our market-leading print editions. We’re giving you more now, than ever before.”
It says those who sign up will benefit from access to the premium part of the website which will be updated with hundreds of stories a day, new smartphone, iPhone and iPad apps, opinion pieces from their top writers and being able to view the paper online with PageSuite technology.
The paywall has also been introduced at sister paper the Shropshire Star, with the same pricing structure.
If the move is successful, it is likely to be rolled out to other Midlands News Association titles.