Australian Launch of Digital Subscriptions for SMH and the Age announced

MEDIA RELEASE 

FAIRFAX TO LAUNCH DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD AND THE AGE FOR AUSTRALIAN AUDIENCES ON 2 JULY 2013 

- Meter model with 30 free articles a month across websites and m-sites - 
- Freemium model for tablet apps with access to free sections - 
- Launch subscription offer of $1 for the first month - 

6 June 2013: Fairfax Media today announced that digital subscriptions for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age across Australia, New Zealand and other AsiaPacific countries will commence from 2 July 2013. 

This announcement follows the successful overseas launch of digital subscriptions across North America, Europe and the Middle East in March this year. 

Digital subscriptions for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites and msites will operate as a meter model, allowing free access to 30 articles a month. The tablet apps will use a freemium model, which means certain sections will be free, whilst others will only be accessible to paying subscribers. 

“The introduction of digital subscriptions for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites, m-sites and tablet apps is the single most significant development to our digital strategy since Fairfax Media began producing digital content and products. It is an important step in our strategy as it provides our business with additional revenue streams,” Allen Williams, Managing Director, Australian Publishing Media said. 

“Fairfax Media has invested a considerable amount of time researching audience-centric digital subscription models. Our approach is simple; visitors will be able to continue to enjoy our content just as they do now, with minimal disruption, and subscribers will have access to a higher level of content plus additional benefits”. 

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have a significant digital audience, with combined website visitors of more than 3.7 million per month*; more than 1.2 million tablet downloads^; and 456,000** average daily unique browsers on m-sites. 

How it works 

The meter and freemium models allow Fairfax Media’s digital audience to choose how they wish to access content on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites, m-sites and tablet apps. Different levels of access will be offered, based on whether they are a visitor or a subscriber:

Visitors
  • Free access to articles up to the meter limit, set at 30 articles per month, across The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites and m-sites. 
  • Unlimited access to articles in the free sections on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age iPad and Android apps. 

Visitors will also be able to view the homepages, photo galleries and videos as often as they wish without being prompted to subscribe. 

Subscribers

  • Unlimited access to content on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites, m-sites and tablet apps, depending on the subscription package chosen. 

Website and m-site subscribers will also have access to a range of exclusive features, including: 

  • Zoom: a new research tool that allows subscribers to view current and archived stories published on popular news topics; 
  • Shortbooks: interactive eBooks curated by Fairfax journalists on specialist topics; 
  • My Benefits: Fairfax Media’s rewards program for Australian resident subscribers, with unique offers, event invitations and access to other digital products. 

Readers will be able to select from five subscription packages. This includes a special launch offer with full digital access (website, m-sites and tablet) and weekend newspaper delivery, for just $1 for the first month (full list of launch subscription packages below). 

“Introducing digital subscriptions will allow us to continue to produce our quality content across multiple platforms, in a sustainable manner. This will enable us to deliver the independent, quality journalism that Australians know, love and trust,” Garry Linnell, Director, News Media said. 

“We know we have a very active and engaged digital audience. Our readers understand that to continue to bring them the very best in digital news innovation we need to introduce new models that will suit both regular and less frequent visitors.” 

The introduction of digital subscriptions for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will be supported with an advertising campaign developed by Whybin/TBWA, commencing from the launch on 2 July 2013. 

Print Subscribers 

Current two-day or more newspaper home delivery subscribers will automatically receive full digital access in their packages. Print subscribers who qualify began being notified to activate their complimentary digital access from the 27 May 2013.

 

Launch Subscription Packages 

Package 1

  • Website access from any device (desktop or mobile) 
  • $1 for the first month, then $15 a month ongoing 

Package 2

  • Full access to the iPad or Android tablet app 
  • $0 for the first month, then $21.99 a month ongoing 

Package 3

  • Website access from any device (desktop or mobile) 
  • Full access to the iPad or Android tablet app 
  • $1 for the first month, then $25 a month ongoing 

Package 4

  • Website access from any device (desktop or mobile) 
  • Full access to the iPad or Android tablet app 
  • Saturday and Sunday newspaper delivery 
  • $1 for the first month, then $25 a month ongoing 

Package 5

  • Website access from any device (desktop or mobile) 
  • Full access to the iPad or Android tablet app 
  • 7 day newspaper delivery 
  • $1 for the first month, then $44 a month ongoing 

Sources: *Nielsen Online Ratings Hybrid April 2013, ^AppFigures as at end of April 2013, **Nielsen Online Ratings Market Intelligence April 2013. 

- Ends - 

Downloadable PDF (PDF 95KB)


About Fairfax Media 
Fairfax Media is a leading multi-platform media company in Australia and New Zealand. The group comprises metropolitan, rural, regional and community mastheads that offer high-quality, independent journalism and dynamic venues for commerce and information. Fairfax operates five business divisions: Australian Publishing Media, Domain, Digital Ventures, Fairfax Radio and Fairfax New Zealand. Australian Publishing Media has four publishing units – News Media, Business Media, Life Media and Australian Community Media – that generate content across all media platforms for major mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Land, The Australian Financial Review, The Canberra Times, brisbanetimes.com.au, WAtoday.com.au, among many others, as well niche websites such as essentialbaby.com.au and thevine.com.au. The APM division also produces prestigious conferences and events that attract large-scale, highly-engaged audiences and community participation. 

Media inquires to:
Miranda Schuppan
Communications Manager, Fairfax Media
M: 0409 256 764
E: mschuppan@fairfaxmedia.com.au