On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the BND will begin offering a Digital Access subscription for $7.95 per month that will allow digital readers complete access to our website and electronic replica version on all platforms: desktops, laptops, phones and/or tablets.
Creating and generating local, unique content, available 24/7/365, comes with significant cost. The time has come to shift our digital strategy to protect the value and integrity of our local and unique journalism.
To begin, digital readers will be allowed to consume a limited number of articles in a 30-day period before they must subscribe. Access to advertising features and obituary notices will remain open to all readers at this time.
On the same day, all print subscribers can activate their Digital Plus account upgrading them at no additional charge to access all of our digital content on all platforms until their next renewal date. At renewal, a slightly higher rate of 10 cents per day will be charged to 7-day subscribers for continued premium digital access.
Since our first edition in 1858, we have continuously evolved as a news and advertising operation. One thing that hasnt changed in nearly 155 years is our commitment to focus on this area and to remain your choice, your voice.
Many of you remember youth carriers throwing folded copies of the BND from their bikes in the afternoon, or buying papers from hawkers after church on Sundays. For years, our professional, adult, independent carriers have driven through neighborhoods before dawn, delivering the BND, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The New York Times. Most folks still love to have and hold their paper, and we intend on continuing to print and deliver the BND every day, seven days a week.
The BND began as a once-a-week product, but expanded to five, six and finally seven days a week, to keep up with your demand for local information. Back in the mid-1990s the BND stepped into the digital world with Belleville.com, but the web was like the wild west back then, with our unique local content at risk and regularly pilfered with no attribution or compensation. Since 2004 most of our local journalism has been available online at bnd.com for all to see, and new technology and legal repercussions protect the content we generate on the web as in print. We update bnd.com dozens of times each day, have added an electronic replica version of the printed product, and our stories and photos are available on phones and tablets.
Its not surprising that more people read our content today than ever before. The combined reach of the BND and bnd.com today is 81% of the adults in this market.
As most everyone now accesses the internet at home, work, by smartphone or tablet, bundling these digital products together, or together with print, just makes good sense. Continuing to allow free access to unique local content does not make economic sense.