Nikkei to launch digital newspaper in bid to boost revenue

by Kazuaki Nagata

Nikkei Inc. announced Wednesday it will launch an electronic newspaper service on March 23, aiming to turn the service into a new source of profit for the digital age.

With the spread of the Internet, young people in particular often go online for news rather than buying newspapers, said Nikkei President Tsuneo Kita.

But the Internet is flooded with information and its credibility has become more difficult to judge, Kita said.

“I think news media have an important role to provide good journalism to those who are more familiar with computers and cell phones than newspapers,” said Kita, adding the company hopes the digital paper will become a pillar of its growth.

A ¥4,000 monthly subscription will give readers access to all the news articles on Nikkei’s Web site, and let them view a digital version of the Nikkei Shimbun in its print format.

Daily subscribers to the print version of the paper can access the Web site for ¥1,000 a month.

Registered users of the Web site will be able to view 20 articles per month at no charge. Unregistered visitors will be able to see partial articles and some in their entirety.

The company said that increasing the number of paid digital subscribers will help raise Nikkei’s online advertising revenue.