Weekly prioritises new paid-for digital edition over website

A 146-year-old weekly newspaper in Northumberland has launched a paid-for digital edition which will be published prior to content being made freely available online.

The digital edition of the Hexham Courant, its supplements and special publications, will be placed online each week priced 55p for those who take out a year’s subscription.

Publication is timed to coincide with that of the 70p weekly print edition which is sold across Tynedale.

To encourage readers to buy either the print or the new digital edition publishers of the Courant intend to postpone the weekly upload of stories to the newspaper’s website from publication day on Fridays to Mondays.

Colin Tapping, Courant editor, said: ‘We have postal subscribers to the Courant across Britain and across the globe, who look forward to getting the latest news from ‘back home’.

‘Until now, they had to pay postage and wait for delivery. Now thanks to the digital version, they can read the Courant at exactly the same time as their friends and family in Tynedale – and at a fraction of the cost they are paying at the moment.

‘They have the added bonus of also receiving our supplement and special publications, such as our latest Tynedale Life colour magazine which is published this week. Previously, postal subscribers couldn’t receive supplements.

‘We expect the digital Courant to attract interest from the many hundreds of people who have roots in Tynedale, but now live outside the area.”

According to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Courant sold an average of 16,304 copies of its print issue each week during the first half of the year – a drop of 3.5 per cent year on year.

Courant readers were offered free trial access to the first digital edition when it went live last week.

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