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Newspaper introduces metered paywall in website relaunch

A Northern Irish daily has become the latest regional title to introduce a metered paywall onto its website.

The Belfast-based Irish News has announced the move, which will come into effect from the end of this month.

It follows a relaunch of the newspaper’s website last week, with new features including photo galleries, video interviews, live blogs, puzzles, sports coverage updates and data.

The website, pictured below, will remain completely free to view until 28 July.

Irish News

After this date, readers will have access to 10 free articles each month before being asked to pay.

Weekly subscriptions will start from £4.49 per week, or 64p a day. A combination of print and online packages will be available offering weekly, monthly or annual fees.

Dominic Fitzpatrick, managing director at the Irish News, said: “Keeping up with the ever-evolving digital world is the key to a successful business.

The Irish News has a very strong readership and, as an organisation, we are committed to constantly seeking new ways to bring more value to our readers.

“We feel the new website will deliver added extras to existing and new readers. The brand new website is easy to navigate and will provide more opportunities for multi-media content.

“As an organisation we aim to be progressive, which is why we are delighted to have a team with such extensive experience and expertise in digital journalism.”

The News becomes the latest of several UK regional titles to experiment with the metered paywall model.

In May the Northern Echo introduced a metered paywall, following in the footsteps of the Jersey Evening Post, Aberdeen’s Press and Journal, and The Herald, Glasgow.


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  • July 2, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    If it’s like the Daily Telegraph’s, when the limit is reached, just delete the last hour’s cookies and away you go for another set of free reads.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    maybe ok for big regionals (any left?). But non starter for most weeklies. Copy just too dull.
    But wait. My weekly newspaper suddenly looks like some effort has been put into it. Has someone on JP realised their mistake? Print first folks!

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  • July 2, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Has anyone tried a paywall but removing all the ads from their site? They might get some takers that way, but a paywall plus ads?

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  • July 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    It may work for the Nationals, but not here in NI. It’s the same old problem… Why pay for something, when you can probably get it free somewhere else? The Irish News has a small dedicated readership, but I doubt very much they’ll cough up the money when other local sources are readily available, for free.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Good luck to the Irish News, but would not be overly confident of this being a success. I buy the paper every day I so am obviously part of the market which they are trying to attract into buying an online subscription. However, within the online daily news sector in Northern Ireland, the Irish News is up again the Belfast Telegraph and the BBC which are both impressive – and free. I’ll be sticking with the paper version for the foreseeable future.

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