‘Irish Mirror’ plans weekend digital charges
Titles are profitable, says editor-in-chief John Kierans
The ‘Irish Mirror’ intends to introduce a paid-for weekend e-edition, but its app will stay free from Monday to Friday
The Irish Mirror intends to introduce a paid-for weekend e-edition, but its app will stay free from Monday to Friday, according to its editor-in-chief in Ireland, John Kierans.
The Irish Daily Mirror and Irish Sunday Mirror, which employ 65 journalists split between their Dublin and Belfast offices, is targeting 1 million monthly unique online users by the end of the year.
The Irish Daily Mirror app has been downloaded 6,200 times and the paywall-free IrishMirror.ie, which was introduced in June, has exceeded its initial target of 500,000 monthly users, Mr Kierans said.
The daily operation now rarely holds back stories for print, he said.
The Irish titles, owned by British media group Trinity Mirror, are “a very profitable business”, he said, despite declining print circulation. The daily sells 102,000-103,000 copies of its Northern Ireland and the Republic editions combined. “Be under no illusion - I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t making money,” said Mr Kierans.
The Irish editor-in-chief said there had been a “substantial investment” in the operation’s digital strategy since Trinity Mirror appointed Simon Fox, a former HMV boss, as chief executive last year, replacing Sly Bailey.
“I’d actually been begging for a proper website here for 10 years,” Mr Kierans said.
Mr Fox visited the Irish offices soon after he took up the job and gave the go ahead for digital development, including the hiring of six online reporters.
Mr Kierans said he believed the Sun’s hard paywall strategy was “flawed”, and that it would be “interesting to see” how the metered paywall planned by Independent.ie pans out. The industry remains “tough”, he added. “I still think there’s going to be casualties in the market, and I take no pride in saying that.”