Daily Post and Western Mail launch on tablet computers

By Huw Thomas
BBC Wales arts and media correspondent

  • Published
Media caption,

Western Mail editor Alan Edmunds said readers demanded tablet editions

Some of the leading newspapers in Wales have launched tablet editions as more readers get their news online.

Electronic versions of the Western Mail, Daily Post, South Wales Echo and Wales on Sunday will be available to download for the Apple iPad with monthly paid-for access from Tuesday.

Figures show Trinity Mirror's newspapers' circulations have fallen while web versions have grown.

Its WalesOnline and Daily Post sites will continue to offer free access.

The challenge for publishers has been to maintain high readerships while also making money from their digital endeavours.

Trinity Mirror has already launched e-editions of its Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper and it announced in January it wanted to place greater emphasis on the production of digital content.

According to the ABC, which monitors newspaper sales, the Western Mail's average circulation last month was 23,598, a fall of 0.5% on the previous month, and a fall of 4% compared to June 2012.

New platforms

By contrast the WalesOnline website averaged 1.4m visitors a month in the second half of 2012 - the most recent figure available - a rise of almost 30% on the previous year.

WalesOnline hosts content from the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and the Celtic series of south Wales valleys newspapers.

Despite the launch of paid-for electronic editions of the individual newspapers, WalesOnline will remain free to access, as will the Daily Post's website.

Western Mail editor Alan Edmunds said the e-editions were an important development for readers and advertisers.

"I am sure it will be welcomed by all who care passionately that the big Welsh national issues are covered extensively in the media on all available platforms," he said.

Media caption,

Digital media analyst Marc Webber said people's habits had forced newspapers to adapt in response

"It is crucial that we engage our growing digital audience in new ways like this."

Daily Post editor Alison Gow welcomed what she called a "really exciting development".

"It gives readers choice and convenience, and complements what we do in print, on dailypost.co.uk and on mobile brilliantly," she said.

The e-editions of the Western Mail, Daily Post and South Wales Echo will each cost £7.99 a month, while Wales on Sunday will cost £3.99 a month.

Tuesday's launch follows a major restructure of Trinity Mirror's newspaper operation earlier this year which led to 92 job cuts and 52 posts created across the group as it introduced a new publishing model and a focus on digital content.

Other newspapers, including The Times, have already begun to charge for e-editions and for access to their websites, while The Daily Telegraph and The Sun have announced plans to introduce paywalls for some or all of their online content.

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