PAID-FOR STRATEGY PAYING DIVIDENDS AT NEWS UK
Sun passes 100k milestone
News UK has released the first comprehensive figures detailing the scale and strength of the readership and growing subscriber base of The Times,?Sunday?Times and The Sun.
Total paid sales of all?News UK?titles?now averages?2.75?million a day?and an ever increasing number of our readers now have an ongoing relationship with one of the titles as regular subscribers –?53 per cent?in the case of The Times1.
It has been a good start for The Sun, which only began charging for its online content in August. Sun+ has reached?over?117 thousand?subscribers. Nearly?102 thousand?are signed up to a paid digital package and a further?15 thousand?prepay for the Sun+ digital package as part of their daily purchase of the paper2. Average daily total paid sales for The Sun – across print and digital?– are?2.2m?(Mon-Sun)?which is around -6.5% year-on-year, significantly improved from -11% in the first half of 2013.
The Sun crossed the?100 thousand?digital subscriber milestone in four months, compared to the 12 months taken by The Times and?Sunday?Times following their own move to charging across all platforms over three years ago. Average daily total paid sales?in November for The Times (Monday?to?Saturday) were?527 thousand?including casual sales.?That is?10 thousand?(1.9%) higher than in June 2010 when the paper started charging for all formats3.
The Times and The?Sunday?Times currently have?over 153 thousand?active digital subscribers?and a?further?207 thousand?subscribe to the print edition and receive digital benefits as part of their package, confirming strong progress for both titles after three and a half years.
News UK is committed to substantial investment in technical innovation, new apps, perks and exclusive access to football highlights that have helped to attract new subscribers and enhance the commitment of long standing loyalists.
Since 23 November our Sun, Times and?Sunday?Times readers?who subscribe to selected digital packages?are able to view video clips of goals and other key moments from the Scottish Premiership and some Glasgow Rangers matches across all devices. ?The previous day (22nd?November) it was confirmed that a new three-year deal, starting in 2015, would allow readers of The Sun, Times and?Sunday?Times to watch clips of highlights from all 146 UEFA Champions League and all 205 UEFA Europa League matches to ensure News UK’s titles are the obvious choice for sports fans in the digital era.
This adds to the portfolio of football content which already offers readers clips from all 380 Barclays Premier League matches for the next three seasons and will provide the best moments from England international friendlies and FA Cup ties from 2014.
Mike Darcey, CEO of News UK said: ?“Today’s figures show that combining our world class journalism, new digital content, and growing focus on customer care is a compelling mix, enabling us to strengthen our relationships with our readers, enhance their experience and secure a sustainable future for news. The paid-for model is firmly established and working well at the Times and?Sunday?Times and is now off to a great start at The Sun, with much more to come.”
David Dinsmore, appointed Editor of The Sun in June, said: ?“No one else has sought to charge for digital access to a mass audience newspaper, and, though it’s early days, we are encouraged by the strong start achieved by The Sun. After years of steady decline across our industry, it is fantastic to see new readers embracing our great paper on new platforms and loyal Sun supporters locking in to an ongoing and deeper relationship with us.
“Our offer of first class news and sport, humour and headlines is increasingly customised for different technologies and I’m encouraged by the number of people who are clearly happy to pay for what until recently was available free of charge. It demonstrates that people are willing to pay a fair price for valuable content”.
Notes to editors
1.????The corresponding figure for The Sun will be available in due course.
2.????101,779 subscribers are signed up to a paid digital package and 15,590 customers prepay for the Sun+ digital package as part of their daily purchase of the paper.
Print+ subscribers are readers who buy the paper but also want to enjoy the fantastic bundle of benefits of Sun+. They can collect unique codes printed in each copy of The Sun every day to initially unlock one month’s worth of digital access and from then onwards, by collecting 20 codes each month, members will receive continuous access to The Sun’s unrivalled digital content and perks.
The encouraging level of Print+?mirrors the pattern on The Times and?Sunday?Times where bundling?print products with?premium digital offerings have helped slow the decline in print sales.
3.????Total paid sales, prior to the introduction of charging, were 517 thousand in June 2010.
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