|With The Australian facing a drop in online traffic due to its recently introduced paywall, Fairfax Media has now announced that The Australian Financial Review will have its online paywall prices lowered enabling full access to the website to be included in print subscriptions. The cost of web-only subscriptions will be reduced below the print price.
In a statement, the Financial Review Group's chief executive and publisher, Brett Clegg, said the move was the "beginning of a new era" for the newspaper.
"The immediate result of this change is that more people will get immediate access to our content. There will be more engagement with our stories and point of view, while web traffic will grow even faster, in turn delivering greater opportunities for our commercial teams," Clegg added.
"The payoff will allow us to reinvest in our journalism. Not only in our business and financial markets coverage. Be it federal and state politics, public policy, the arts, or the many other topics we cover in-depth. We are investing."
The national business daily, which has charged for online content since 2006, consulted with staff, key stakeholders and the market to determine a price decreased was needed to lower the barriers to its journalism.
"The strategic review, and the investments in journalism and systems that we are making, herald changes that make for an exciting 2012. We are a profitable publication with strong commercial underpinnings. Our position as a national publication, which produces unashamedly high quality journalism, is a great place to be."
Existing subscribers will receive a letter detailing the changes, which include a print plus online subscription cost of $790, down from $1,140, and a web-only subscription cost of $680, down from $1,140. Some stories will also be made free for non-subscribers to sample. New subscriptions have been temporarily suspended until Monday.
According to The Australian, the AFR's subscription price was previously one of the most expensive in the world.
The price changes will be accompanied by a national marketing campaign from 12 December.
The newspaper is also set to launch its Apple iPad application early next year.