Herald & Weekly Times managing director Peter Blunden today announced the Herald Sun would unveil its new multi-media package alongside digital subscriptions from next Monday.
On March 12, the Herald Sun will launch the ultimate companion to its newspapers, the Herald Sun Digital Pass, with a two-month free trial available until June 30.
This pass will offer readers access to compelling new multi-media content via the website, a new mobile phone “m-site” and the popular iPad app, available whenever and wherever readers desire.
After the expiration of the free trial period, readers will be able to purchase a Herald Sun Digital Pass from $2.95 per week.
In addition, in April, the Herald Sun intends to launch a totally upgraded version of its popular iPad app.
“The expansion of our business across multiple platforms will enable us to remain competitive for the long term,” Blunden said.
The Herald Sun Digital Pass will be available to buy at heraldsun.com.au with many other subscription bundles that include the newspaper, with various price points including:
§ $2.95 per week: full digital access to the Herald Sun, website, tablet app and mobile site
§ $4.95 per week: full digital access plus newspaper delivery on Saturday and Sunday
§ $5.95 per week: full digital access plus newspaper delivery Monday to Friday
§ $8.95 per week: full digital access plus newspaper delivery every day
Blunden said existing Herald Sun 6-7 day subscribers would be given premium service.
“We will be offering these customers a complimentary 12-month Herald Sun Digital Pass in addition to their newspaper print subscription, valued at over $150,” he said.
“All 1-5 day subscribers will be offered a three-month pass and all Herald Sun readers, including our casual retail customers, will also be offered a two-month trial to experience all that a Herald Sun Digital Pass offers. ”
Holders of the Herald Sun Digital Pass will have a single login which will work online, on tablet and on mobile. The Herald Sun Digital Pass will run for four week periods, automatically renewing each time it expires.
Blunden said the “freemium” model, using a mix of free and subscription-only content, would ensure all readers continued to enjoy access to breaking news, wire stories, broad-interest stories and any content that is widely available via other digital publications.
But, through the range of digital pass subscriptions, readers would have access to specially selected premium content each day including opinion, exclusive news, sport, entertainment and analysis.
Coverage of the Herald Sun’s senior columnists including Andrew Bolt, Mark Robinson, Terry McCrann, and Susie O’Brien would only be accessible to subscribers.
A marketing campaign worth $5 million will support the launch of digital subscriptions.
Mr Blunden said the new-look website would particularly appeal to AFL fans.
“Digital pass subscribers will be able to access new SuperFooty content including Australia’s No.1 second-screen experience for AFL matches,” he said.
“We’ve built a fully interactive match centre with scores, stats, fixtures, live chats, live SuperCoach points, news, video and social media interaction.
“There is an insatiable appetite for footy coverage in Victoria, and our army of football reporters is second to none.
“We expect our improved reader interactivity via our website and mobile phone site to be even more appealing to our readers and SuperCoach players.”
From next Monday, the upgraded website at heraldsun.com.au will include a fresh new layout and enhanced functionality offering a more interactive, user-friendly and engaging experience, featuring more exclusive, in-depth content and new sections.
Pages will load faster on the site than ever before.
The TrueCrimeScene section will be anchored by veteran Victorian detective Charlie Bezzina with on-the-spot reports and analysis.
Enhanced functionality will enable greater social engagement and sharing and deliver a consistent user journey across desktop, tablet and our new mobile platforms.
With the advent of the Herald Sun m-site, Victoria’s best source of news, sport and entertainment will now be at the fingertips of people who are on the move, not always in front of a PC.
Features include all the latest information from News, SuperFooty, Sport, Entertainment and Business as well as live AFL scores and simpler, more elegant navigation and presentation, amplifying the smaller screen and load times of all pages.
Blunden said the current website was already accessed by about 700,000 UBs per month via mobile devices.