Local news publishers in the UK have had a fairly hard time of it recently, hit by falling readership and reduced advertising revenue, but now one of Britain’s largest regional newspaper publishers is to begin charging users to read full stories on six of its titles’ websites.
Johnston Press will charge £5 (about $8) for three months full access to content on the Worksop Guardian, Ripley & Heanor News, Whitby Gazette, Northumberland Gazette, Carrick Gazette and Southern Reporter.
Readers who don’t wish to subscribe will be given access to excerpts and then encouraged to buy the paper copy to read the full stories.
Given that the publisher owns some 300 titles across the UK, this is a fairly small experiment, although some of its other titles, such as The Scotsman, already offer this sort of subscription model.
It’s another move from traditional media companies seeking to monetise content in an increasingly online world. Time will tell whether it works.