Many newspapers are starting to sell e-editions. Basically, a replica of the paper is sent to your desktop each day. It’s similar to having a physical copy of the paper, just on your computer.
I’ve noticed this on the NY Times site but haven’t really thought much of it. Poynter Online’s Mallary Jean Tenore writes that for at least one paper, having an e-edition has increased its circulation. In a time when most paper’s circulations are circling the drain, this is some much needed good news.
While e-editions bring in new subscribers, they don’t necessarily bring in revenue. At least one paper, however, has found that its e-edition is attracting new audiences, especially younger readers and schools, and serving as an experimental investment in the future of newspapers.
Case in point is The Commercial Appeal‘s e-edition, called “e-appeal,” which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the paper’s overall circulation. Recent Audit Bureau of Circulation figures that cover a six-month period ending in March show that the paper’s circulation climbed 31 percent as circulation industry-wide dropped 7 percent.
Just on the basis of getting people to read the paper, this is great. While the paper has yet to figure out how to make money from this, at least it’s getting more eyeballs to look at the paper. To me, this is definitely a step in the right direction.