Earlier this year, the Washington Post announced a Newspaper Partner Program to grow its digital subscriber base. Starting in May, the Post began offering free digital access to its websites and mobile apps to subscribers of more than 120 regional, daily newspapers including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and the Toledo Blade.The regional newspapers benefit by offering additional content at no extra cost to subscribers, resulting in better retention. If readers were to subscribe to the digital version of the Post on their own, they would pay $99 per year for the digital package (web and mobile access) or $149 per year for the digital premium package (digital package plus unlimited access to all tablet and mobile apps). That’s quite a deal.Though no money changes hands between the Post and its newspaper partners, the Post benefits too. By getting in front of tens of thousands of new subscribers, the Post expands its reach into new markets, building its reputation as a national, not just regional, publication.In June, NiemanLab reported that the partnership has been successful already. Within a month of the offer, 7,000 of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s subscribers had signed up for free access to the Post online. With direct access to readers who have opted in to the free digital product, the Post can peddle other wares and offer its advertisers a growing audience.In addition to the newspaper partner program, this weekend the Post is launching a weekly print edition for its newspaper partners with news and local advertising. The 24-page, color tabloid will first be distributed with The Dallas Morning News and will be made available to other newspapers in the future. The print supplement will be offered to subscribers for an additional fee of $0.99 per week.These are just two of the changes the Post has implemented since Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Post for $250 million in October 2013. The new initiatives illustrate Bezos’s re-focusing of The Post’s strategy from merely trying to stay afloat financially in the short-term to long-term sustainability. It will be interesting to see how many newspaper partners take advantage of the special supplements and how many subscribers are willing to pay an additional fee for their Sunday paper.
Washington Post Grows Subscriber Base by Expanding into Regional Markets
Earlier this year, the Washington Post announced a Newspaper Partner Program to grow its digital subscriber base. Starting in May, the Post began offering