It’s been nearly three months since The Atlanta Journal-Constitution introduced its new website for our subscribers.
The website, www.MyAJC.com, previewed in late March and became available to subscribers exclusively in May. It’s part of our long-term strategy to go out of our way to serve our loyal subscribers with total access as part of their subscription.
Our readers told us they wanted access to the journalism they love in an easy-to-read format whether they were on a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. They desired the “newspaper-like” experience when, where and how they wanted it.
Now that we’re meeting those needs, I thought it would be good to share some insight into what we’re hearing about the website.
The AJC has a respected tradition of using audience research to help inform decisions about content as well as new products. We’ve learned through early surveys what you think of MyAJC.com. Here’s some of what we learned:
• Subscribers are connecting to the website and have positive reactions especially to layout and format. They say it “feels like the printed newspaper.”
• About 80 percent of the subscribers who visited the website during the survey said it exceeded their expectations or was about what they expected.
• Users asked for some improvements to content. (This is something we began to address immediately. Since the survey, we have made breaking news more prevalent by adding a “latest headlines” feature to the top of the homepage of MyAJC.com. We’ve also added more related content to stories on a daily basis. And, we are updating the website more frequently.)
• Subscribers gave high marks on our in-depth and investigative coverage, the reading experience and organization.
• Non-subscribers aren’t as pleased with the website and say they aren’t as likely to use it in the future.
In other, general feedback some readers have questioned our decision to ask people to pay for content. Why, they ask, should they pay for content they can find somewhere else? Well, that’s just it. MyAJC.com is a resource for content, even beyond the print paper, that you won’t find elsewhere.
While you may have read in various sources recently about looser guidelines on prostate screening, you wouldn’t find anywhere else the local stories about how some men are turning back any risk of cancer or what local physicians are telling their patients. We tell the stories of your neighbors like no one else will.
Sure you’ve heard the story about the Cheerios ad, but you won’t see the story told the way we tell it in today’s Metro section.
We hold state and local officials accountable through our coverage. On MyAJC.com you’ll find value, as a subscriber, through content like the interactive graphic showing how state workers are paid more than the governor. MyAJC.com gives readers total access to our great in-depth coverage and investigative reporting on local issues that matter.
Where else will you read the weekly Personal Journeys feature that spotlights the lives of extraordinary individuals and the stories that define our region and connect to our community? I’ll tell you where, nowhere.
Our staff coverage is unique and local. That’s what brings value to MyAJC.com and makes it worth a subscription. It’s the same reason I pay for O magazine, even though you could argue that I can find Oprah’s favorite things anywhere. It doesn’t matter, I’ll keep paying because it’s unique from my O and I get it in the digital format.
Of course, we know there is still work for us to do and we continue to work at it.
Having two websites allows us to serve both free and paid audiences. We continue to offer valuable content on ajc.com, our free website.
On ajc.com you’ll find the latest breaking news, plus more social media engagement. The free website also offers special features like GameTracker http://gametracker.ajc.com/. We also provide a diversion in your day with our popular “Find 5 Challenge” on accessAtlanta.com (http://www.accessatlanta.com/s/games/).
Cox Media Group has made a significant investment in meeting the digital needs of subscribers. The company’s other major metro newspapers in Austin, Dayton and West Palm will each launch subscriber-only websites this month, in addition to their existing free websites. Like the AJC, their new websites also will provide total access to content as part of a reader’s subscription.
We are working hard to provide value in both places, targeting different audiences. And we’ve made it easy for subscribers to register their accounts and get total access at https://Ajcdelivers.com/AddDigital. Let us know what you think.