TimesLIVE leads the news online
SA’s premier news site, TimesLIVE, has recorded unprecedented increases in registered users in the past four months.
There are now more than 153,000 readers whose ability to sign in on the website allows them to read a wider range of articles or access free services such as commenting on articles or subscribing to e-mail newsletters.
TimesLIVE editor Makhudu Sefara said a key factor in the soaring registrations was a team of hard-working journalists and editors going beyond the call of duty to deliver cutting-edge journalism.
“The growth has been phenomenal,” he said. “We initially worried about the possible impact our registration drive will have on TimesLIVE audience numbers. It is now clear that the quality and the speed with which the product is delivered make all the difference.
“Our top-notch writers in sport, news, politics, entertainment, our witty viral news team and our multimedia team producing television-quality docu-news and podcasts invariably put in the long hours and are passionate about what they do. The readers’ response is heart-warming.”
Sefara said TimesLIVE adopted a hybrid model that offered a free section of fastbreaking news, viral-type news and multimedia, and a premium section offering exclusives and opinions, housed under Sunday Times Daily.
“We are working on a number of innovations to respond to rapid changes in technology and mutating news consumption habits. I am excited about the improvements being introduced to TimesLIVE and wish to thank the workaholics who form the TimesLIVE family,” said Sefara.
Fienie Grobler, executive editor responsible for daily news, said the strategy behind the exponential growth was to offer premium content to tap into the potential subscriber market.
“We decided to focus on the Sunday Times Daily content because our premium articles are the ones that distinguish us from our competition. This meant that a reader could only read the story if he or she parted with their e-mail addresses. Once they’ve registered with their e-mail addresses, the story becomes free to read,” said Grobler.
She added that TimesLIVE had about 96,000 registered readers when the registration drive began in November.
“Now, by mid-April, it has shot up to more than 153,000 registered users. That is a treasure chest of nearly 60,000 new loyal readers,” said Grobler.
Sefara said the next objective is to convert newly registered users into subscribers, with the help of the Arena Holdings digital media and marketing sections. “This is the next frontier. We have already seen improvements in this area but hope for increased speed of conversion of our registered users to subscribers.” —