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April 15, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:12am

Reuters paywall launch is agency’s ‘largest digital transformation in a decade’

By Charlotte Tobitt

Reuters News is launching a paywall in what it described as its “largest digital transformation” in a decade.

The news provider hopes its revamped website will attract professional audiences willing to pay $34.99 (£25.38) per month for deeper coverage and data on business verticals including legal, sustainable business, healthcare and auto – as well as general news.

The offering, available as monthly or annual and individual or group packages, will also include live streams of Reuters events for subscribers and subscriber-only newsletters.

Reuters chief marketing officer Josh London said: “Professionals need direct access to industry knowledge, data and insights from expert sources, and Reuters is pleased to offer our trusted, impartial and accurate news coverage through a premium offering.”

Reuters, which has not said when it will begin charging for content, will allow users to read five stories for free before asking them to register.

[Read more: Press Gazette analysis ranks 28 news publishers with more than 100,000 digital subscribers]

Reuters said it currently attracts 41m unique users per month, helping it generate advertising revenue. Around half of its total revenue comes from its biggest client, financial data specialist Refinitiv.

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But now the agency wants to join the many publishers building up their digital subscriber bases as advertising revenues decline.

Press Gazette analysis has ranked 28 English-language outlets with 100,000 or more digital subscribers each and a total of 23m between them.

The Reuters news story about the paywall noted the pricing of financial news rivals the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, which are ranked third and 16th in our list with 2.5m and 300,000 digital subscribers respectively.

The WSJ costs $38.99 while a Bloomberg subscription is $34.99 before any discounts or offers.

The announcement of Reuters’ change in direction came in the same week that it announced its new editor-in-chief will be Alessandra Galloni – the first woman in the post in the agency’s 170-year history.

She will replace Stephen J Adler, who has led Reuters’ 2,500 journalists in 200 locations across the world for a decade, from Monday.

[Read more: Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J Adler interview: Agency’s US election reporters given flak jackets and gas masks]

Reuters president Michael Friedenberg described Galloni, who is currently global managing editor, as a “transformative and inspirational leader with outstanding journalistic credentials, a truly global perspective and a compelling vision for the future of news”.

Reuters reported that both leaders have made the success of digital and events their top priorities.

In digital it has also invested in legal news, recently hiring a number of journalists and launching newsletters. The news agency is also boosting its live events, newsletters, streaming TV channels and audio strategies to better target business professionals.

Picture: Reuters/Eddie Keogh

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