The MNA is pleased to announce that it has now reached 100,000 registered users across its websites expressandstar.com and shropshirestar.com.
In May the MNA launched a freewall, requiring users to create an account to read some articles. At that point, the MNA’s websites only had about 10,000 registered users.
The MNA’s group digital editor Mark Morris said: “Reaching 100,000 registered users is a testament to the hard work of every journalist in the Star newsroom. Each reporter is producing content every day that our readers trust and are willing to support by creating an account with us.
"Passing 100,000 registered users in such a short period of time is also a clear indication that our commitment to delivering relevant, reliable local news is resonating with our audience.
"Of course, we see this achievement as just the beginning. With the continued support of our readers, we are excited to embark on the next phase of our journey, expanding our coverage to include more premium content and launching a paywall.
"In today's fast-paced, competitive media landscape, building a loyal readership is no small feat. Our success so far is thanks to our team's dedication, our readers' loyalty, and our commitment to understanding our patch and delivering news the community really cares about.
"This milestone is a shared accomplishment, and we look forward to continuing to deliver high-quality local news that informs, educates, and entertains."
The freewall makes around 10% of the MNA’s original journalism available exclusively to those who create an account. The news team has also been experimenting with longer reads created in their new Shorthand software to deliver a more immersive user experience, which has generated thousands of registrations.
Editor-in-chief Martin Wright said: "We are delighted that so many people have signed up since we introduced the registration wall on May 18th.
“To have reached this figure in a relatively short space of time is a tribute to the hard work of everyone at the MNA. This includes the development team who created and implemented the freewall and the marketing team for promoting and explaining the concept and the reasons behind it. And of course the editorial team for embracing the idea and producing the sort of content that means readers want to register with us.
"I would also like to thank our readers for supporting us with this initiative and for the constructive feedback we have received since the registration wall was launched. It has been particularly gratifying to receive emails of support from readers thanking us for the service we provide.
"The introduction of the freewall was an important step for the MNA as it builds towards the introduction of a paywall later this year. The challenges facing local newspapers are well documented but, with the introduction of a modest monthly subscription in return for unrestricted access to all of our content, we are confident that we can create a sustainable model that will enable us to continue to deliver the best local and regional news to our audience."