A daily newspaper has introduced an online paywall in a move which its owner says will help “define” its strategy ahead of a potential wider rollout of the idea.
JPIMedia launched the scheme with an introductory offer of a £1 per month for three months on the sites, and other titles are set to follow in due course.
Readers will be able to access five free articles per week before being asked to pay, with individual subscriptions being required for each title they wish to access.
Asked about potential further roll-out of the paywall plan across the group, a JPIMedia spokesman indicated that the outcome of the current paywall experiment would determine whether or not this went ahead.
The spokesman told HTFP: “We are currently focused on understanding the propensity for users to subscribe. The results will help define what our subscription strategy should be across the rest of the business.”
Announcing the change, Scotsman editor Frank O’Donnell said in a message to readers: “The Scotsman is proud to be the trusted source of independent, high-quality journalism for our readers, a position we’ve held for 200 years.
“From those early days of print to now ensuring you have all today’s news and information at your fingertips on your mobile phone, we have transformed our newsroom.
“And we will continue to adapt and evolve our unrivalled service to meet your needs in our fast-paced digital world. We love providing you with the news and we trust that you want to stay on this journey with us.
“But quality journalism costs money and so today we are calling on the support of our loyal readers to sustain this by subscribing to our scotsman.com website.”
Those who subscribe will see fewer advertisements, get access to The Scotsman’s newsletters and have free access to its app.
Frank added: “With an increase in unregulated content and sometimes inaccurate news made available through social media it is more important than ever that our regulated and trusted voice remains loud and clear – and talking for you.
“At The Scotsman, we do not just report on our local communities. We are part of our local communities. We care about what you care about, we enjoy doing what you enjoy doing.
“You are at the centre of what we do – and so from today we will be counting on your continued support. Paying for news is an investment in the future of our communities, our local economy and democracy.”
According to the Daily Business, the two floors the titles have occupied at their Orchard Brae headquarters since 2014 will be reduced to one.
JPIMedia declined to comment on the office space closure.