When Nation.Africa announced its digital subscription model in February, it was considered a bold move by many industry experts.
The question was: would people really be willing to spend money on digital content that they were used to getting for free? As it turns out, the answer is a resounding yes.
Three months after the introduction of its metered paywall, the Nation Media Group on Friday announced a new milestone, as digital subscription passed 52,000 subscribers.
Group Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu said the company thought it will reach the milestone in 12 months only to manage the feat within three months.
“This goes to show that the work we have done is confirmation of our professionalism and I want to congratulate our staff and our partners for their fantastic work,” he said.
Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Waithaka Gitagama echoed Mutuma’s sentiments and explained that he expects the digital growth to consistently continue.
“When we started this day, there was pressure for the team to deliver. It has been only three months since we launched the paywall, there has been a lot of work, a lot of learning. We have tested, learned, and made improvements,” he said.
Gatagama also stressed that the audience have been of great support and challenged journalists to produce content that is worth the value.
“The readers, those are our customers, those are the people we are talking to and are rewarding us from what we have done. And that is why we are proud of achieving more than 50,000 subscribers way ahead of our schedule.”
The latest achievement comes just days after Nation.Africa, the flagship news and content website of NMG, won two awards at the prestigious International Forum (iF) Design Award 2021, also referred to in popular culture as “the Oscars of Design”.
The unique design of www.nation.africa, which went live in September 2020, won under the Communication category while its launch campaign video bagged the award in the Best Campaign Video category.
An independent group of 98 design experts judged 9,509 entries from about 3,693 participants from 52 nations. The Nation campaign video garnered 309 points while the Nation.Africa brand identity entry garnered 311 points. The average score among the winners this year was 269.
NMG won alongside other elite brands such as Samsung, Apple and Google and competed against global brands such as Siemens, Virgin Galactic, Primera Beauty Products and Planet World under the campaign video category.
In December, Nation.Africa launched the Nation Puzzle, a new feature that contains daily crosswords, sudoku, word searches designed to give the audience and registered members a fresh way to challenge themselves and simulate their minds.
Gitagama said Nation Puzzles gives NMG a unique opportunity to leverage on a classic product that has featured “in our dailies for over 5 decades, to reach and attract new audiences by repurposing it to a digital platform that is easily accessible and interactive on mobile.”
The launch comes after Nation.Africa reached a milestone months after achieving a subscriber base of 270,000 registered users on its new platform that was launched in August and aims to advance the company from East Africa’s largest media house to Africa’s leading mobile content provider, a centre of technological innovation and customer excellence.