France: Le Monde sees itself as a “global press brand”

The venerable French daily newspaper Le Monde announced that it was to alter its digital business model and change the way it's been selling subscriptions for its portfolio of products (newspaper, magazine, website, iPhone App and soon iPad App), as declared by Eric Fottorino, Editorial Director and President of Le Monde Groupe.

LeMonde marque globale Since March 29th, readers of the newspaper might have noticed a refreshed layout (Cover page called "La Une" now reads more horizontally) as well some new ('Contre-Enquête" and "24 hours in the world") and improved sections (more analysis inside the "Decryptages" section).  The open-access part of LeMonde.fr will boast more content with more debates as well as some new lifestyle and travel features.  The subscribers-only part of the site will also carry more articles moving forward and a whole new channel called "debrief", which will offer a quick summary of the day's major news. 

The first paid iPhone App will be launched mid-April and a free version of the iPad App is already available for users in the US where the iPad was first released over Easter weekend.  The final iPad version will be launched at the end of April, the iPad's official launch date in France.

In terms of subscriptions, Le Monde is now offering a "quadruple play" to its readers i.e. one subscriptions for 4 touchpoints to Le Monde's editorial content on any platform.  Indeed, for 29,90 euros a month (19,90 euros only for the first three months), subscribers will get access to the daily and its magazine supplements, as well as access to the paid section of LeMonde.fr and both paid Apps for iPhones and iPads.

Key figures:
Le Monde has a French paid circulation of 288 049 copies a day (OJD – DSH 2009); Its website LeMonde.fr has 148 million impressions (OJD, January 2010), 46.7 million visits per month (OJD, January 2010) and 5,26 million unique visitors per month (Nielsen NetRatings, worldwide users, January 2010). The iPhone World App has been downloaded more than 1.4 million times (iTunes, February 2010) and boasts 6.9 million visits ( Xiti, January 2010) as well as 39.2 million page views per month (Xiti, January 2010).

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