The Sun is currently Britain’s largest newspaper and has the highest dedicated readership base. The company is launching a new digital subscription package today that turns their online website into a Paywall, where you have to take out a membership to read their articles. What is very exciting, is how the Sun is taking a departure from the standard way news companies make money online and doing some fairly innovative things.
The Sun is not focusing exclusively on digital, although it does offer a low monthly rate to subscribe to their website. Instead, they want to promote the fact that they don’t want to sell less newspapers to get some quick digital sales. Instead, every issue of the newspaper will have a code that can be redeemed to get a free digital edition of the paper or read the news within their official mobile apps. If you redeem 20 codes in any given month, you are being given the next month for free. Derek Brown, digital editor at the Sun, told us: “We’re not becoming digital first, we realize that we still sell a lot of newspapers every day – we don’t want print readers to feel that they are missing out on something.”
Subscribing to the digital newspaper, is seemingly going far beyond just getting news on the website. Readers will also get access to the Sun+ Goals app. It will show highlights from all 380 English Premier matches all season, making them available at 5.15pm on Saturday, five hours earlier than the BBC’s Match of the Day. FA Cup rights will be added in 2014. The other major component is called Sun+ Perks. It promises at least £200 of savings and giveaways each month such as music and eBook downloads.
The Sun is doing some fairly excellent things when it comes to launching their new digital subscription packages. The average news agency is just selling access to the internet websites and not giving free access to their news apps. The Sun, instead of doing what everyone else is doing, is blazing their own trail and taking the “companion” approach to mobile.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.