Herald announces digital subscription model for premium content

NZ Herald has announced pricing for it’s ‘premium’ digital subscription – $5 per week, although a ‘special introductory offer’ will be offered next week when the premium content launches.

That’s $260 a year, quite a bit for part of one media company’s content. It’s a risk, especially if the free content is watered down too much and keeps promoting so much trivial click bait content.

This has been a long time coming, it has been talked about for years.

NZ Herald launches digital subscriptions for premium journalism, reveals pricing

NZME will become the first major New Zealand media business to unveil digital subscriptions – costing $5 a week, with a special introductory offer to be announced next week.

While much of the content on nzherald.co.nz will remain free, digital subscribers will access a range of premium content across business, politics, news, sport, lifestyle and entertainment including indepth investigations, exclusive reports, columns and analysis. There will also be more foreign, premium content from a range of internationally renowned mastheads.

I can get all the international news and analysis I want now.

People who have five-, six- or seven-day subscriptions to the NZ Herald or one of NZME’s five regional newspapers – the Northern Advocate, Bay of Plenty Times, Rotorua Daily Post, Hawke’s Bay Today and Whanganui Chronicle – will have automatic access to premium content. Print subscribers will be contacted next week with details of how to activate their digital subscription.

So it’s free for newspaper subscribers – for now at least.

They say it will help support ‘quality journalism’ and will provide ‘indepth analysis and insight’. If it allows them to do more of this that will be a good thing, provided they get sufficient subscriptions to keep funding it.

One problem with important investigations being limited subscriptions is that it will limit the impact.  The glare of publicity can sometimes impact on negative things that have been happening or have been done, and that publicity will be reduced if limited to subscription content.

I presume they will promote summaries or teasers of premium content so people know what they might be missing out on.


On a related matter – three years ago my household decided to drop our ODT print subscription, because we found we were hardly reading it, and could get sufficient news online.

Last year we restarted our ODT subscription. We found we missed it, especially for local (Dunedin and Otago) news, and also information about what was happening in the area. It does a good job generally on local news, and we felt it was worth supporting. And we are reading it more now – there’s something about flicking the large paper pages and browsing.

This is one reason why I won’t be subscribing to the Herald online.

The ODT republishes some Herald content – I wonder if this will continue and will include premium content?

Leave a comment

17 Comments

  1. David

     /  27th April 2019

    I would imagine Stuff following suit. I pay a subscription for the Telegraph but its half what the Herald are after so I wont be subscribing, the thought of paying to read Lizzie Marvelly would be too much for me.
    I think the model where they request you turn your ad blocker off to view the site is quite a good one but they could help by having less intrusive adverts and hit that middle ground.

    Reply
    • I would be surprised if columnists like Lizzie will be rated as premium content.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th April 2019

        A bit harsh, perhaps. It’s possible st least that Lizzie might think it is? I guess someone could always ask.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  27th April 2019

          After you. Pay the $5 and see what you get.

          Most people would pay $5 not to read her. 😀 😀 😀

          Reply
      • Duker

         /  27th April 2019

        Thats their business model, everything but Lizzie , Hosking etc is premium. hahahaha

        Im presuming they might allow access to premium story via Facebook page on the story where FB gives them a few cents with the bonus of FB analytics on the whole history that FB holds on that person ? .Thats advertising gold.

        In general NZME will see their audience plummet – they are way behind Stuff anyway.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  27th April 2019

      they could help by having less intrusive adverts and hit that middle ground.
      The sheer digital footprint size of the ad content & embedded videos on their & stuff’s pages now regularly crashes both my browsers on my iPad2, & they try to reload the page. Sometimes successfully, other times not. Generally the best thing to do is close any & all other tabs, & wait, wait, wait for it to load all the content again. Scrolling before it’s fully loaded can just hang or crash the browser again. Otherwise it’s boot up the laptop time & sometimes I just can’t be bovvered.

      But they have to go with whatever the advertisers pay them to run to get funding to provide free online content. They’ve cut staffing from the “good old days” so the quality of reporting is often trivial Women’s Mag style stuff as they’ve had to try & broaden their reach to that audience. It’s a conundrum they all face. They do have my sympathies. I’ll just have to stick with their mainstream reporting & forego any “premium” articles.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  27th April 2019

        Turn off ‘javascript’ in your settings . At the worst some pictures or graphics dont appear but I would think the text was the main thing you are after anyway.
        this is essential if running an older computer as js soaks up a lot of CPU.

        Another delay which leads to slower acess is the massive number of tracking cookies they use say 30 for front page but it goes to 60+ for any story Stuff is worse they have 120+ for their front page and 140 for a story.

        The other advantage of turning off javascript is that it beats some ( like NY Times) but not all subscriber access
        Do it NOW.-

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  27th April 2019

          Cheers Dukers. I gave it a shot in Safari but had to re-enable it to get back into WordPress. :/

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  27th April 2019

            Yes . If you use Googles Chrome it can be site specific with the little padlock image next to http in the adress line. You can use this way to block certain cookies as well, especially for facebook twitter ( or even googles sites) etc. keep the pricks at bay

            Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  27th April 2019

      I have an advert blocker (uBlock) on my browser (IceDragon) full time. If a web site wants me to turn it off to view their content I move onto another site. Simple. There are very few sites that will block you completely, most just have a nag screen and allow access regardless.

      It also stops secondary links from loading unless manually triggered by a left click from the mouse.

      I can understand commercial news organisation needing advertisement income to support their operations, however the share volume of adverts in revenue generating web sites, like TradeMe for example, means a advert blocker is 100% justified.

      Those needing advert income will have to find another way to get my revenue stream. I will not tolerated being bombarded, like a Sky TV subscriber, with inane adverts.

      So I would pay to view premium content but will not sit through adverts to view paid for said content.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th April 2019

      The Telegraph standard rate is £6/wk. How is that cheaper?

      Reply
  2. David

     /  27th April 2019

    I would imagine Audrey Young will be premium and some of her stuff is quite good but she is far too tied in with Arderns glow reflecting on her with her international colleagues. Todays piece is pretty woeful: Everyone wants violence and terrorism off the internet and the tech giants have been employing thousands of people and developing AI to combat this for several years now with tech bosses hauled in front of Congress.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12225572

    Where as Stacey Kirk, probably the best political writer in the country, pens a piece looking at the challenges Ardern faces running up to her well being budget. Its not a hit piece it is well researched and inciteful. Worth paying for this:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112265844/purse-strings-hold-the-key-to-wellbeing-but-will-the-coming-budget-deliver

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  27th April 2019

      Audrey=’premium’ pull the other leg..it plays Beethovens 5th.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th April 2019

        🤔 That’s not so bad, B. Just hope pulling the other one doesn’t play anything by…Motorhead ! 😉

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  27th April 2019

      Stacey Kirk is a national party ‘imbed’ in Stuff. She only writes stories that are sourced from that part of parliaments corridors. Shes a newbie from Palmy compared to Audrey who has had decades of experience
      Theres a long history of national party Mps before Jami lee Ross ( he had a journalist as part of his harem) having long affairs with female journalists. Jack Shand way back ( only remember that one because his daughter was a teacher later on) and more recently Clare De Lore while ZBs parliament reporter suddenly announced her resignation from ZB AND her intended marriage to NP MP Don McKinnon

      Reply
  3. FarmerPete

     /  27th April 2019

    I no longer rate the Herald as a ‘premium’ news organisation. Stuff is even lower on the totem pole. I can’t see this working for them in the long run.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th April 2019

      I like to read it and the Waikato Times in the cafe I go to, and did/do miss having a daily paper sometimes. But I don’t miss having to chuck out all the bits that I don’t read, like sport, cars, real estate and having to put the green bin out every week. The weekend ones were the worst.

      Reply

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