10,000 subscribe to Spain's El Mundo paid application
More than 10,000 people have signed up for Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo's paid news application for the Internet since it was launched at the beginning of March, the company said Sunday.
"These results are above our expectations," a company representative told AFP.
The application, called Orbyt (www.orbyt.es), provides subscribers with full access to the paper edition of the centre-right newspaper as well as a range of other services including archives, video reports and news commentary.
The service costs 14.99 euros (18.39 dollars) per month or 60 euro cents per day.
El Mundo has continued to provide free access to the content of its website (www.elmundo.es) which is the world's most visited Spanish-language media site, drawing visitors from Spain as well as across Latin America.
The site, which is frequently updated by a team of 20 journalists, publishes shorter versions of articles from the paper edition.
The newspaper expects the number of subscribers to its paid news application to get a boost from the launch of an application for Apple's iPad tablet computer which hit stores in Spain on Friday.
"With time, the number of people who buy the press in virtual kiosks like Orbyt will increase," said El Mundo director Pedro J. Ramirez.
"And if we take into account the strength of the Spanish language, this will allow us to increase the number of our subscribers abroad, from Buenos Aires to California," he added.
El Mundo, controlled by Italy's top publisher RCS MediaGroup which also issues Italy's biggest-selling daily Corriere della Sera, is the first -- and so far only -- major daily in Spain with a paid news application.
Like other newspapers across Europe, El Mundo has been looking for new ways to make money as it struggles with a decline in print advertising revenue and newsstand sales and a challenge from free news online.
© 2010 AFP