NELDON: Leader launches digital subscription campaign

This week, our digital readers — especially those who visit often — may have seen a pop-up ad on leaderpub.com asking for an email address or subscription purchase.

This initiative is the latest in our efforts to bring our news products further into the digital age.

For more than a decade, readers virtually anywhere in the world have been able to read content produced by the Leader Publications news team for free. With the exception of a couple of seconds of your time to answer a survey question, at this point, we have not asked you for anything in exchange for our content — unless you prefer the print edition.

To those reading this column in print, I thank you for supporting local journalism by purchasing a subscription. Your loyalty and commitment to your community are much appreciated.

Still, a large portion of our audience prefers to read their news online. In addition to being free (to this point), digital content is published live — as it happens. It’s easy to share on social media and quick to engage with in comments.

While those opting to read the digital edition lose out on dynamic page design, extra photos and some content exclusive to our print edition, we understand the convenience of the website makes digital readership attractive.

That said, content published in an online format costs just as much to produce as the content shared in print. While there are no printing expenses associated with digital content, online content still requires employee compensation, technology purchases and upkeep, website management, domain licensing — the list goes on and on.

So, beginning Monday, Leader Publications introduced what many refer to as a “paywall,” though our model varies slightly from the traditional paywall method.

Readers will be able to view three stories for free before being asked to enter an email address for two weeks of free access to the website. If no email address is given (or after the two weeks expire), readers will be prompted with a digital subscription for a period of time.

Our introductory offer allows readers to access our website for $1.99 per month for three months, and then $1.99 per week after three months. As these offers expire or change, rates will be spelled out clearly on website pop-ups.

Our award-winning newspapers have been recognized for producing top notch news, feature, sports and lifestyle reporting for many years, and we continue to grow our coverage, adding photo galleries, graphics and even video to supplement our web content. 

We appreciate each and every reader who supports community journalism and look forward to being the source for southwest Michigan news for many years to come.

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