Times+ has been devised to deepen the titles’ relationship with their readers, reward loyalty and generate new direct revenue streams. The initiative comes as newspaper publishers look to shore up revenues in the face of declining advertising spend on the medium and falling circulations.
Membership and loyalty schemes have been discussed at a number of publishers as a way forward.
The Times’ membership scheme builds on the success of Culture+, an exclusive arts and entertainment rewards programme, which launched a year ago and now has 90,000 active members.
Times+ offers members an even greater range of exclusive events, offers, gifts and rewards connected to interests from the arts to travel.
Membership is open to all at a charge of £50 a year but is complimentary to subscribers of The Times and The Sunday Times.
Katie Vanneck-Smith, managing director customer direct, News International, says: “Times+ gives us the opportunity to redefine further our relationship with our readers and to reward their loyalty. We are moving away from the traditional model of volume in favour of developing more direct relationships with our customers based on their interests and passions.”
In addition to offering member benefits, Times+ also gives members free access to one of its associated specialist packs. Times+ launches with two packs, the popular Culture+ and the new Travel+.
Travel+ will give members the chance to meet journalists, including the editors, columnists and critics, from both The Times and The Sunday Times, at bespoke events. It will also offer exclusive private excursions and tours, as well as upgrades and discounts. Travel+ includes a year’s subscription to The Sunday Times Travel magazine delivered direct to the door.
Brand partners, such as Cox & Kings, Mr & Mrs Smith, Virgin Holidays, Hip Hotels and Wellbeing Escapes, have signed up to Travel+.
More packs will be added over the next 12 months. Subscribers can add an additional pack for £25.00 (non-subscriber price £50.00).