It’s been two months since we launched the metered system on the Whidbey News-Times website, and the initial results brought exciting news.
At least I find the news exciting.
Not only are we adding new online-only subscribers, we’re seeing growth in our print subscriptions as well.
Also encouraging is the relatively few complaints about the change. During the first few weeks after we adopted the new metered system, there was a handful of people who experienced compatability problems with their browsers and mobile devices, but we were able to resolve those issues quickly.
Only a few people complained that the website is no longer wide open. Just one person got insulting when, after his eight free articles ran out for June, he declared in an online comment that the newspaper was of no interest to him.
The irony in his comment wasn’t lost on me.
I think many people see the per-issue price of 43 cents — with a subscription — is a pretty great deal for the money. Nowhere else can you find as much local news, opinions, sports, features and advertising gathered from your own backyard.
Over the past decade, the conventional wisdom was that everything on the Internet needed to be free, and newspapers around the world bought into that thinking. Online publications began launching left and right. Most notably, Patch founders believed they would take over the media world.
A decade later, AOL’s Patch is but a pale shadow of its former self, its ambitious plan to take over a notable fail, and now online publications are creating print versions to build their readership.
So much for conventional wisdom.
It’s every journalist’s hope that their work will, in some way, make a difference in someone’s life. Information is power, and we aim to empower readers.
In informing and empowering readers, however, we want your newspaper to be entertaining as well. We are constantly looking at ways to introduce features that our readers want. To that end, please keep telling us what you what you’d like to see in your Whidbey News-Times.
Last of all, thank you for being a reader of the WNT. There’s not a day that goes by that I am not appreciative of the opportunity afforded me to lead this newspaper. With your help, I hope someday far down the road to leave this newspaper better and stronger than the day I arrived.
Keven R. Graves is executive editor and publisher of the Whidbey News Group. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org