In just four months, 64,200 new readers have signed up to receive unlimited access to the publication’s online content, placing the newspaper as the leader of Spain’s press market.
The launch of the EL PAÍS paid digital subscription model on May 1 was a milestone in the newspaper’s transformation as a media company, one that just four months later can already be measured in numbers. EL PAÍS now has nearly 110,000 subscribers, 64,200 of whom are exclusively digital subscribers.
In addition to these readers, who have joined since May, EL PAÍS has 37,923 subscribers to the print edition and 7,842 to Kiosko y Más, the digital version of the print newspaper. Readers who subscribe to the print edition also have access to all online content – nearly half have signed up. But in the interests of being completely transparent with the market, EL PAÍS does not count these subscribers, or those to Kiosko y Más, as exclusively digital members.
The figures, which EL PAÍS has released for the first time, position the newspaper far and above the other media outlets in Spain on the digital subscription path, which the industry considers as the only possible formula to ensure the sustainability of large, high-quality news companies. At this especially complex time, diversifying income streams is the right way to guarantee a future. Advertising continues to be a crucial element of the equation, but it is not enough to weather the turbulence of the sector: the decades-long fall in print advertising, the tough competition from large platforms for a stake in the digital space, and the blow of the coronavirus pandemic have made it an even greater necessity to develop an economic model based on the support of a committed community of readers, and simultaneously on higher quality advertising that takes advantage of its knowledge of users. This too, at a time when the world is becoming rapidly more digital.
EL PAÍS has a team of more than 400 journalists and the largest network of Spanish-speaking correspondents in the world, with four especially active news desks in Madrid, Barcelona, Mexico City and São Paulo. Founded in May 1976, EL PAÍS is global, European and increasingly American – 20% of new subscribers are from outside of Spain.
The relevance of the digital subscription model is evident today more than ever. Addressing an issue as complex as the coronavirus pandemic, against a backdrop of uncertainty and disinformation, has required experienced journalists to spend an innumerable number of hours in providing readers with useful and thorough information. Having specialists in health, education, science, economy, data and graphics, as well as the ability to cover a story from a local and global perspective, sets EL PAÍS apart, and above all it represents a public service. If the challenge wasn’t already big enough, this work has been done in the streets and in our reporters’ homes. Our newsrooms have been empty since mid-March and the return to normality is still a long way off.
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