As disruptive as the pandemic has been for publishers, it also has unleashed a variety of experiments to reach audiences whose media consumption habits underwent a rapid shift. One byproduct of the
increased time spent with digital media has been a renaissance for email newsletters sent to opt-in audiences.
Among the more recent pilot programs, The New York Times this month
announced a plan to make some of its newsletters available only to subscribers.
The goal will be convert readers who had received newsletters for free into paying customers.
Another interesting application for email newsletters is to revive newspaper titles that had
disappeared. The publisher of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, in June announced a plan to bring back its evening-edition paper, The Spokane Daily Chronicle, in
When the print version of the Chronicle
closed in 1992, its print subscribers had fallen to less than 20,000 from a high of 72,000 in the mid-1960s.
In reviving the title, the paper seeks to give readers another reason to become a paying subscriber, according to an op-ed by Rob Curley
, editor of the Spokesman-Review.
Since pushing out the first electronic edition of the Chronicle
readers who had activated their e-edition accounts by July 12, the early results look
promising. The e-editions for the papers saw a 31% increase in new users and a 41% jump in total pageviews, Poynter reported
The number of total users for its
e-editions rose 25%, helping to drive a 4.5% gain in the activation of digital subscriptions. Digital subscriptions rose by about 2.3% to reach almost 10,000.
said that newspapers need to foster longer-term loyalty by making their offerings a daily habit for readers. The rebirth of the Chronicle as an electronic paper is notable as an effort to
increase exposure to its brand and convert readers into paying subscribers.