Germany's Bild newspaper tops half a million online paid subscribers

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Germany's biggest-selling newspaper, Bild, topped half a million online subscribers, it said Wednesday, with more readers opting for its digital format during the pandemic.

The tabloid-style broadsheet, which regularly breaks political, sports or celebrity gossip news, started its current digital operation in 2013.

After adding 50,000 online members this year, it reached 500,000 paid subscribers in November.

"We have made paid content big not only for Bild, but for Germany," said editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt who said the platform "is a successful model for paid journalism."

It makes Bild the largest paid online media portal in Germany, although its digital subscriptions lag behind international outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

He said the next goal was to reach one million online subscribers, who pay a standard rate of 7.99 euros ($9.62).

Bild has a print run of 1.7 million paper copies according to figures from February this year, a number that had fallen from 2 million just five years ago.

The has accelerated a trend of readers switching to online news.

German newspapers have been relatively resilient to the pandemic. A report by the Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) showed that only one in 10 members suffered a dramatic drop in circulation numbers.

A quarter said sales were stable and around half managed to limit the decline to between one and five percent.

Germany sells 14 million copies of 327 different daily newspapers, according to BDZV figures from 2019, well ahead of Britain, with nine million, and France, which sells six million.

The paper is owned by conservative media conglomerate Axel Springer, which also owns German broadsheet Die Welt and a national TV news station.

© 2020 AFP

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