Merged Times and Sunday Times websites drop rolling news in favour of edition-based approach

The Times and Sunday Times have merged their websites and relaunched them with a focus around “editions” rather than rolling news.

One core edition will be published each day on The Times which will then be updated at 9am, midday and 5pm. Updates will also appear on smartphone and tablet apps.

On weekends the edition updates will be at midday and 6pm.

Publisher News UK said in a statement: “The move from rolling news to an edition-based model is based on intensive customer research, which showed that readers come to The Times and The Sunday Times at set points of the day and read us primarily for the accuracy of our reporting, and the originality of our analysis and comment.

“The new publishing times reflect the pattern of our readers’ daily routines and their desire for a curated, finite edition that will keep them fully informed in minimum time, with maximum flair. We retain the flexibility to follow a big breaking news story if the editors believe it is warranted.

“The new responsive website and apps have a cleaner, smarter design and a new font, Times Digital, to optimise the digital reading experience. Our sections will also be named consistently across all of our products for ease and simplicity.”

The new website and Android app are live now and the Apple app is expected will be live within the next 24 hours.

Times editor John Witherow said: “The power of an edition has endured at The Times for more than 230 years. Our challenge is to update this concept for the digital age: to put readers first and cut through the babble.”

Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens said: “The Sunday Times remains Britain’s biggest-selling quality newspaper thanks to award-winning scoops from the FIFA scandal to blood doping in athletics. An edition-based digital format allows us to showcase the breadth of what we offer in a fresh way that is as easy to navigate and share as our precious print edition.”

As of June 2015 the paywalled Times and Sunday Times claimed to have 172,000 digital subscribers across seven days.

The Times tablet edition attracts 95,271 unique views per day, according to ABC, and the publisher claims an average “dwell time” of 44 minutes. The Sunday Times has 101,694 active views and a claimed average dwell time of 64 minutes.

News UK has said that its advertisers now pay the same amount for tablet ads as they do for print ones.

In the year to June 2015 Times Newspapers limited reported a pre-tax profit of £10.9m and an operating profit of £21m.

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