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BizTrends 2018

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The Times, first in SA to migrate to digital-only delivery

The Times daily newspaper will become the first print newspaper in the country to migrate completely to a digital-only reader offering. The final print edition of The Times will be published on Friday, 15 December, with the new digital edition, Times Select launching in early 2018.
© Kaboompics // Karolina - Pexels

Times Select will continue to deliver up-to-date, in-depth and relevant news, analysis and opinion on desktop or mobile devices, via,, and the Sunday Times app (available from the App Store or Google Play Store).

Tiso Blackstar Group considers closure of The Times print edition

NEWSWATCH: Tiso Blackstar Group announced yesterday that it's considering the closure of the print edition of its daily newspaper, The Times, proposing it be replaced with a premium, digital-only daily product, taking on a new format based on successful models that have been implemented internationally...

3 Nov 2017

The new Times Select will be a curated “digital daily”, featuring a wide range of the news, analysis and opinion that is currently carried in The Times newspaper, and will be included in all Sunday Times subscription packages at no extra cost.

Feisty spirit and unique voice

"Our goal is to bring the feisty spirit and unique voice of The Times in print to Times Select. For example, our leading columnists like Justice Malala, Jonathan Jansen, Tom Eaton and Darrel Bristow-Bovey will all continue with us in our new home. We promise that the change of medium will not change the award-winning journalism that lies at the heart of The Times. In fact, we intend to produce more of it," says Andrew Trench, editor of The Times and group digital editor.

Tiso Blackstar Group has invested in the development of The Times’s digital presence over the past few years, particularly as the costs associated with the daily distribution and printing of the newspaper have escalated to become uneconomical for the business, says Andy Gill, managing director of media at Tiso Blackstar Group.

The introduction of Times Select as a digital read is similar in approach to many international daily digital edition models such as The Economist’s Espresso or Der Spiegel’s Spiegel Daily. It is ideal for a new generation of readers as well as for the loyal readership that enjoys the curated experience of print.

Gill says that the Group will be communicating the changes to subscribers and advertisers to make sure the transition is as seamless as possible. “The availability of Times Select will ensure that Sunday Times subscribers continue to enjoy curated daily news throughout the week, but with delivery that can be guaranteed digitally.”

Appetite for curated content

The Sunday Times print edition, which remains SA’s best-selling weekend newspaper, will be unaffected, and will in fact be bolstered by the access to some of the country’s best awarding-winning writers and columnists.

Sunday Times subscribers who previously received The Times print edition as a benefit, will be receiving the daily Times Select as a standard part of their subscription package. It will also be offered to non-subscribers of the Sunday Times at an affordable subscription cost.

As a result of the shift to the Times Select digital product, affected Sunday Times subscribers will have no price increase in the first half of 2018, as is normally the case. Additionally, readers who choose to forego the print edition of the Sunday Times in favour of the Sunday Times e-edition will see their subscription packages, which includes Times Select, discounted.

“Our readers continue to have an appetite for curated content, especially in the ever-expanding context of fake news, but many are choosing to have it delivered digitally instead,” Trench concludes.