SHOP TALK by BRAD ROLLINS
Get the data
Although I did not say so, I privately thought that blog post on June 5 might be the last opportunity I’d have for a while to celebrate a new high in the number of people who turn to the San Marcos Mercury for their local news.
For one, readership always dips in the summertime when people in general are less engaged with the news and when San Marcos itself is a considerably smaller and sleepier city. Who, after all, wants to be in front of their computer or tethered to their phone when the river beckons?
I also knew we were about to launch MercuryPro, a subscription service offering premium content to paying members. It’s a given that charging clients for access to even just some of your content is going to put a dent into your overall traffic numbers. Only, miraculously, it hasn’t.
We announced MercuryPro in mid-July and so far have just under 1,700 of our 14,796 stories behind a paywall. MercuryPro members have full access to our rich archive of local stories and get the best — and most important — latest news before anyone else. Our unique hybrid model of paid and free access is working better than we could have expected — working so well, in fact, that our readership numbers are essentially defying digital gravity.
Last month, we had 56,131 visits, a 103 percent increase over July 2012, and 36,777 unique visitors, a 146 percent increase. In addition, our brand new Bobcat Magazine website is picking up steam, too: We had 8,625 visits there last month.
These charts tell more of the story if you’re interested. But the bottom line is this: This fiercely independent digital news network continues to find itself playing ever-larger roles in our neck of the Lone Star State. We owe it all to all of you.