New subscription plan gives readers more choices

PublisherDecember 2, 2012 

The News Tribune and its predecessors have been in this area for nearly 130 years, reporting on what we know best: the South Sound and its people.

While we started out as a couple of different newspapers that began printing in 1883, we evolved over the years. Various newspapers were acquired, combined, discarded and consolidated. We helped introduce radio and television news in this market. We moved from afternoon to morning publication and expanded our coverage from Tacoma to the entire South Sound.

But it is doubtful we saw as much change in our own business in the first 110 years as we have in the last 20.

We still reach about 60 percent of the adults in our home market each week, but in very different ways. Since Internet use exploded in the 1990s, we have evolved from what truly was “just a newspaper” into a multimedia print and digital company that provides news and advertising 24/7 on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

While 25 years ago all of our customers consumed their news in print, today is different. In the past seven days about 435,000 readers in this area read news in the print editions of The News Tribune, while another 105,000 readers read news that we produced online.

As print readership continues to slowly erode, digital readership is growing rapidly. A metric called “unique monthly visitors” continues to grow at a double-digit rate year-over-year, and mobile readership is up nearly 80 percent compared with 2011.

While it is great to be growing readership online, it’s not a sustainable business model if we’re investing in new delivery vehicles, but giving it away.

Beginning this month we are joining hundreds of other daily newspapers around the country that have implemented new payment plans to give readers multiple options on print and digital subscriptions. The idea is to give all of our customers all the news they want, when and how they want it.

Starting Dec. 17, our digital content will become part of our subscription packages. You will receive access to all The News Tribune platforms at no additional cost until your current subscription expires.

When your subscription does renew, print subscribers will receive digital access on all platforms for an additional $2.50 a month (just over eight cents a day). Nonsubscribers who want to subscribe to The News Tribune only on a digital platform will pay $9.95 a month (about 33 cents a day).

Our digital offerings include our website (, our mobile apps available for both the iPhone and Android phones, and our digital replica edition of the printed News Tribune (available on the desktop, laptops and tablets). Digital subscribers will also get access to our archives and to databases not otherwise available to print subscribers. And we are working on other products that will become available to subscribers with digital access in coming months.

Digital subscribers also will be able to access popular blogs, videos and photo galleries, and be able to participate in online polls and to comment on stories and blog posts.

Nonsubscribers will be able to access only a limited amount of digital content after Dec. 16. Access to the home page, the obituaries and classified advertising will not be restricted, but most other content will be limited to 15 page views a month.

Current subscribers will need to activate a digital account to take advantage of The News Tribune’s digital features after Dec. 16. Expect to see more detailed instructions in the paper and on our website as we get closer to the go-live date.

As always, thanks for reading the TNT. We’re committed to bringing you the most complete, accurate and trustworthy South Sound news report available anywhere. Our goal is to keep doing that for at least another 130 years.

David Zeeck: 253-597-8554

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