If you are a regular reader of the Arkansas Times online, you will have noticed a change. The Times, like most other publications, has adopted a strategy to help us stay in business: We’ve extended our paywall. We now limit free views of articles and blog posts in the Times to three a month.
Giving you the Arkansas Times takes a lot of time and money, and for 44 years, our advertisers have allowed the Times to bring you great reporting and writing.
But in this financial climate, most advertising dollars are going to Facebook and Google. They alone sucked up 73 percent of all digital advertising revenue in 2017, according to the research firm Pivotal — and their share of that pie is growing.
We still matter to advertisers: We sell a significant amount of print and digital advertising. Our many platforms — not just print and web, but podcasts, a daily news video, enewsletters and social media platforms — remain an outstanding way for businesses to reach new customers. (Learn more at staging.arktimes.com/advertise.) We’ve also gotten into the events business, hosting, among others, annual margarita festivals (see this week’s To-Do listings) and craft beer tastings and bus trips to the King Biscuit Blues Festival.
But now, to sustain our weekly publication and online presence, we need you.
In 2014, in response to these changes in the publishing industry, we began to sell digital subscriptions to the Times, asking readers to bear a share of our costs. We explained that our staff was putting out both a daily website and a print edition. We told you that we devote considerably more of our budget to our editorial staff than our peers in the weekly press across the country because Times founder and publisher Alan Leveritt has always been mission-driven. We put our popular, newsbreaking Arkansas Blog behind a metered paywall and asked you to subscribe to it. Around a thousand of you did, and that’s been a financial boon to us ever since.
But about 350,000 people come to staging.arktimes.com every month. If we’re to continue to produce the aggressive journalism and editorial observation you’ve come to expect from us, we need more subscribers.
Though we have adjusted the paywall, we have not increased our subscription price: It’s $9.99 per month or $110 per year. On top of that, we’re sweetening the deal for you new and current subscribers who wish to extend their subscription by a year: For a limited time, you’ll receive a fully loaded pass to cultural events. That includes:
• A one-year Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert membership (one free ticket to every ASO regular season concert), a value of $108.
• Six tickets to the Museum of Discovery, a value of $60.
• Four tickets to the Little Rock Zoo, a value of $40.
• Two tickets to the Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre, a value of $25.
To subscribe to the Arkansas Times and get unfettered access to some of the best reporting and writing in Arkansas, go to my.staging.arktimes.com and choose a plan.
If you’re already an annual subscriber, but want to extend for a year and get the free passes, head to my.staging.arktimes.com/user/extend, fill out your info (don’t forget to check the box indicating you want your free passes!) and we’ll get them in the mail to you.
Want to purchase a subscription for someone else as a gift? Head over to my.staging.arktimes.com.
Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting the Arkansas Times!
Questions? Comments? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.