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Individual codes score for the Sun

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Individual codes score for the Sun

The concept is to provide exclusive value (for example, Premier League goals in video clips) to gain paying digital readers, while keeping the print readers.

An individual 12-digit alphanumeric code is printed on every copy of the paper. After an initial 30-day free trial of the digital service, readers can collect those codes. Twenty codes are needed to extend free access to the Sun+ offer for another month. So readers are motivated to continue buying the newspaper.

To print the codes, News UK installed Kodak digital print heads on all its offset presses.

Sun+ was introduced last summer, timed with the kick-off of the British football season – and it came with a paywall. It was massively promoted on the cover pages of the print edition ahead of time and during the introductory phase.

What the paper learned from the campaign was: You cannot do enough to get your message across. Far too many readers did not use the code, because the message was not clear enough and reading habits are very strongly entrenched.

Today, the number of readers using the Sun+ codes has reached about 15,000. “This number seems to be low compared to a 2-million print circulation, but these people are regular buyers of the newspaper, and it delivers a lot of information on customers for reseach purposes,” Hedges says.

Other innovative uses of the digital print heads have followed, including Sun Bingo, augmented reality, Sun Lotto and other commerical uses.

“What you need to realise such innovations is hardware, software, the right people and a lot of imagination,” Hedges concludes.


Charlotte Janischewski's picture

Charlotte Janischewski


2014-03-21 13:53

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