!_LT_EMThe Times!_LT_/EM, which up to now had been distributed free of charge to subscribers of the !_LT_EMSunday Times!_LT_/EM (excluding those in remote areas), would in the near future be sold on street corners and at outlets in the province, Hartley said.
The paper would be available to non-subscribers of the Sunday Times in parts of Gauteng “in a fairly decent sort of way” by the beginning of March.
Hartley said the paper would be distributed in this way initially as part of a trial run after which the project “will be upscaled”.
“Generally, we would like it to be (on the street) earlier rather than later. By the beginning of March we would like to be out there in a fairly decent sort of way,” he said.
Hartley said the cover price (for non-subscribers) had not yet been determined. “It could be between R3 and R4.”
It was not yet known how many copies would be distributed in this way.
The paper would continue to be distributed free of charge to the bulk of the Sunday Times subscription base, Hartley said.
The Times had been established in June Ã¢Â€Â“ among other things to boost Sunday Times subscription figures.
Hartley said the decision to also distribute to non-subscribers did not come because The Times had failed to do so.
“It’s a way to drive the subscription model.
“At the moment we are saying to people: ‘Trust us and subscribe’. This way they can buy (the paper) and decide (if they would like to subscribe).”
Hartley said !_LT_EMThe Times!_LT_/EM had increased !_LT_EMSunday Times!_LT_/EM subscription figures, “probably roughly by 10%”, and had reduced churn (the number of people who unsubscribe from !_LT_EMSunday Times!_LT_/EM). TheMediaOnline was at the time of publication of this story awaiting confirmation of this figure from !_LT_EMSunday Times.!_LT_/EM
The Times has an audited circulation of 126 413 (ABC, June to September 2007). Hartley said it was not possible to say what the paper’s target circulation was, following the decision to distribute to non-subscribers. “It’s uncharted territory,” he said.
Ã¢Â–Â Since the publication of this TheMediaOnline story, !_LT_EMBeeld (Sake24)!_LT_/EM reported that Avusa did not want to confirm the decision to make !_LT_EMThe Times!_LT_/EM available to non-subscribers in the near future. Hartley has, however, confirmed it to TheMediaOnline and in his href=”http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/hartley/2008/01/10/the-times-hits-the-streets/” target=_blank mce_href=”http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/hartley/2008/01/10/the-times-hits-the-streets/”blog.