INM ends online access to ‘Sunday World’
Title freezes website to show advertisement for home delivery and digital subscriptions
SundayWorld.com: INM has removed news articles from the site and links to older stories redirect to this home page.
Independent News & Media (INM) has removed access to Sunday World articles from SundayWorld.com, with the site now imploring visitors to sign up to a series of home delivery or digital edition packages.
Links to the archive of past Sunday World stories also redirect to the SundayWorld.com home page.
The move was confirmed by a spokesman for the media group, which also owns the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and the Herald.
“A breaking news service will no longer be available on the SundayWorld.com website,” the spokesman said. INM will instead be “consolidating its efforts” behind its main website, Independent.ie.
The “buy now” advertisement on SundayWorld.com links to a home delivery option for the title for €10 a month alongside a combined Sunday World and Herald digital edition option for €14.99 per month.
To have both the Sunday World and the Herald delivered in print form costs €34.99 a month, while home delivery of both the Irish Daily Star and the Sunday World is priced at €39.99 a month.
The media group, which counts Denis O’Brien as its largest shareholder, has insisted that it has no plans to introduce a paywall for Independent.ie, although it now requires users to register with the site in order to access opinion pieces.
The INM spokesman said it remained part of the group’s editorial strategy to “diversify its content offerings in order to support niche audiences”,
In the past 12 months it has launched two new sites, FarmIreland.ie and weddings-focused TheVow.ie.
Removing online access to Sunday World content is likely to have a protective impact on print sales.
Its circulation stood at 143,503 in the first half of 2017, according to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). This was down 11.9 per cent on the same period in 2016, a rate of decline that exceeded the average across the Sunday market.
The tabloid title sold more copies than its Sunday Independent stable mate for a period from 2008, but the broadsheet regained its status as the biggest-selling title in the market in 2012.