From next week, the Wimmera Mail-Times will enter a new era where its online content is no longer simply free. While numerous elements will remain accessible to all, unlimited content will now be available to subscribers only for just $3 per week.
Why? Because this content has value and because this content doesn't come for free.
The reasons we are taking this step are simple. We need to ensure the Mail-Times is sustainable in an increasingly digital age and to do that it can no longer afford to give away valuable content for free.
Generations of newspaper readers have valued the Mail-Times’ contribution to the Wimmera and paid for it in its traditional paper format. Now we are asking an online generation to do the same.
We are not the first media organisation to consider this as part of a strategy as larger and larger audiences shift in the way they consume news. The world is changing and we are changing with it.
While the first decade of the online revolution created new media models – some of which succeeded and some of which failed – the constant is that it is still the best content that matters, and this content costs money to produce.
If the largest of the social media behemoths created a false reality of an online free-for-all there is also now a maturer digital audience who are more discerning and willing to pay for what matters.
The adoption of pay-by-use technology has made this a matter of habit for multiple successful worldwide platforms.
What matters to Wimmera people is this region – the place they work, live and love. This is what the Mail-Times is dedicated to delivering – the best of its news and sport, first.
The proof is in the audience and our digital audience continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.
The Mail-Times remains one of the most successful digital platforms in regional Australia with an average of almost 1.4 million page impressions per month and more than 75,000 unique users per month – the audience figure that really counts.
These figures continue to climb as we deliver the news, sport and community interest stories that are essential to our people.
We think this is a good time to reiterate the value of a local news organisation and how the Mail-Times has served as the voice of the Wimmera since 1873. We are asking for your support.
Loyalty of our readers has been a great part of our history and is more important than ever before. Join us.