Sunday Times

TimesLIVE leads the news online

- Staff Reporter

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.” —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa