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July 4, 2022updated 07 Nov 2023 5:44am

New-look Mail+ offers whole print edition, podcasts and video

By Charlotte Tobitt

The publisher of the Mail brands has relaunched its paid digital edition service Mail+ offering access to some print content not seen on Mail Online as well as podcasts, puzzles and more.

Mail+ was previously run as a separate operation to Mail Online but its new iteration is part of a more unified approach across the Mail brands since Ted Verity was made editor across all seven days of output in November 2021.

The new-look Mail+ includes two ways to read content from the print newspapers: a traditional page-turning digital edition and a new website-style format with more interactive features.

The subscription includes access to podcasts like those from Mail columnists Sarah Vine and Liz Jones – Femail Half-Hour and Liz Jones’s Diary – and video show Palace Confidential, which launched in January 2020 and proved to be one of the biggest hits from the previous iteration of Mail+.

Subscribers also get access to some content from the next day’s print newspaper from 5pm the evening before, and a huge number of puzzles.

In an editorial published in the Daily Mail and on Mail Online on Monday, the brand said: “The Mail+ will change the way you see your favourite newspaper – and save you money.”

Although Mail Online carries some stories from the print newspapers, the team only use the ones they feel work editorially for the site. In contrast, subscribers of Mail+ get all the newspaper content.

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An offer launched on Monday offers a three-month trial for £1, with the subscription costing £10.99 per month after that. An annual subscription currently costs £65, down from £131.88. A print and digital subscription costs £26.80 per month.

Readership for the Daily Mail’s page-turning digital edition has been reported by ABC since 2013. In May this year it had an average of 75,430 active views per issue with 76,368 paid subscriptions, while the Mail on Sunday had an average of 76,338 views per issue with 75,459 paid subscriptions.

In 2019 DMG launched the online briefings side of Mail+ to accompany the digital newspaper, giving additional insight, news and entertainment articles, videos and podcasts including three daily video bulletins from the Daily Mail newsroom. It was initially free but soon launched a paid subscription.

It was billed as the online service from the Daily Mail, rather than Mail Online, and had a team of about 40 journalists mostly taken from within the Mail newsroom and reporting to then-Daily Mail editor Geordie Greig.

In 2021, according to DMGT’s annual results published in November, Mail+ attracted more than 370,000 unique visitors on average each month. The results also noted “strong growth” in subscriptions at the Mail, primarily at the paid-for enhanced digital newspaper known as The Digital Edition.

However, following Greig’s departure in November with Verity taking over as editor-in-chief of Mail Newspapers under guidance from ex-Daily Mail editor and now editor-at-large Paul Dacre, Mail+ has undergone changes this year.

Mail Online’s long-time boss Martin Clarke also left in February and the Mail brands are now more unified than before across print and online.

Mail+ said goodbye to former star name Michael Crick, who was making weekly political films and writing regular columns for Mail+, in March. A number of video staff were also made redundant earlier this year, as first reported by Guido Fawkes.

It also lost editor Gordon Thomson who led the brand for three years until April. According to his Linkedin profile he oversaw paid-for subscriptions rise above 100,000 and newsletter sign-ups above one million as well as a doubling of the Mail’s digital subscription revenue to £10m during the first Covid-19 lockdown and 80% unique user growth to the Mail+ website in 2021 “by aggressively focusing on a strategy of compelling original journalism, curated newsletters and targeted SEO work”.

Press Gazette understands that there is no longer a separate team of journalists for Mail+ but that staff are working more collaboratively across the brands under Verity’s leadership.

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Picture: DMGT

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