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Publisher introduces ‘ad-lite’ subscriptions at 11 titles to improve reader ‘experience’

Chris DaggettEleven weekly and bi-weekly newspapers have launched a digital subscription option giving readers full access to online content – but with fewer ads.

The JPIMedia titles have announced the new packages for readers who want an “ad-lite” experience online.

Subscribers will see 70pc fewer advertisements on stories and have faster loading times, as well as being promised “fewer distractions and an overall enhanced user experience”.

The scheme has been introduced at the Burnley Express, West Sussex County Times, Derry Journal, Harrogate Advertiser, Dewsbury Reporter, Hastings Observer, Scarborough News, Southern Reporter, West Sussex Gazette, Lancaster Guardian and Northumberland Gazette.

Users will still have unrestricted access to all articles and content, and will not be required to register unless they opt for the ad-lite experience.

The subscription price is £2 per month for a two-month trial and £3.99 per month thereafter.

Burnley Express editor Chris Daggett, pictured, revealed his title’s participation in the scheme in a letter to readers.

Chris wrote: “From the early days of print to our modern day news service of making sure you have all the essential local news and information at your fingertips online and via mobile devices, we have constantly adapted to meet the needs of our readers.

“We will continue to adapt in this fast-paced digital world to ensure we keep delivering our unrivalled local news service for our communities.

“Throughout our history we have taken pride in listening to our readers and bringing them on our journey with us. It is our mission to keep providing you with the news you need but this quality local journalism costs money.

“If you value the work we do, you can now choose to become a digital subscriber and help ensure our trusted, regulated local journalists can cover the issues that matter in Burnley and Padiham for years to come.”

David Montgomery, chairman of JPIMedia owner National World, previously stated the company’s strategy was to “introduce payment for premium online content”.

A number of the group’s titles had introduced digital subscription plans prior to National World’s takeover of the company.