Business, political and financial Scottish daily Business a.m. has become the first newspaper in the world to be reprinted whole on a new internet site.
And because the format allows subscribers to the US company NewsStand.com to see all the paper’s contents, it is likely to attract an Audit Bureau of Circulations figure.
Agreement is being sought with the ABC for sales of publications through the NewsStand service to qualify as paid circulation. Users will be able to turn the pages of the paper on screen and download its contents overnight.
Texas-based NewsStand is negotiating to secure similar deals with publishers in between 30 and 40 countries, with The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune shortly to join Business a.m. online.
On the same day as Business a.m. went on its website, NewsStand published the first magazine to join its venture, the Harvard Business Review.
NewsStand chairman Stuart Garner, former head of Thomson Regional Newspapers in the UK, predicts it will be the first online project for newspapers which will make them money.
Users subscribing to the NewsStand service through a link on the website businessam.co.uk site and NewsStand will pay the newspaper, which will also save on newsprint and distribution while extending its capacity for reaping sales and more advertising revenue. NewsStand has been developing the technology which enables it to produce electronic newspapers over the last couple of years.
NewsStand is currently talking with publishers in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Austria, Switzerland, France and Germany as well as the UK.
The man who is handling the deals in the UK and parts of Europe is Warwick Brindle, who was managing director of Scotsman Publications under Thomson’s and the Barclay brothers.
"NewsStand’s technology will allow us to deliver Business a.m. in a cost-effective manner – anywhere and anytime," said Jim Chisholm, the paper’s managing director.
"Readers will benefit from easy electronic access to Scottish business, financial and political content, while Business a.m. and advertisers will benefit from increased sales channels."
Business a.m. offers customers digital paid subscriptions and single copy sales. Subscription rates will be similar to the current mailed edition.
lBusiness a.m. recently commissioned independent pollster NOP to interview business people in Scotland about the newspaper. The research revealed it has an average issue readership of 56,000 and reaches 33 per cent of the population earning over £82,000.
It also reaches nearly a third of Scotland’s managing directors, chief executives officers and directors with 76 per cent of subscribers at director level or above, the research showed.
By Jean Morgan