Business

NZ Herald Premium subscribers hit 93,000, NZME looks to sell GrabOne

NZ Herald Premium subscribers now total more than 93,000, including 49,000 paid digital-only subscribers.

This marks a trend of continued growth since the April 2019 launch of the Herald Premium offering, which has given New Zealanders access to standout local and international journalism.

In a statement to the NZX this morning, Herald owner NZME gave an update on current progress and the three-year strategy for the business.

Included among the announcements was the appointment of Grant Samuel to explore divestment options for its GrabOne business.

The statement from the company said while GrabOne had been performing strongly, the business did not fit within NZME’s strategic plans.

It’s understood a number of parties have already expressed interest in acquiring the GrabOne business.

NZME has shifted its strategic focus to three pillars, premised on growing the Herald, increasing radio dominance and accelerating OneRoof’s growth trajectory.

NZME’s aim for the NZ Herald is for it to become New Zealand’s Herald through consolidating its position as the number one news brand in the country and expanding its national presence.

Further to this strategy, NZME has already made a number of key appointments in Christchurch and Wellington and also has content-sharing agreements with RNZ and the Otago Daily Times. The NZ Herald digital teams have also established regional homepages to give readers in around New Zealand direct access to articles more relevant to them.

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs also outlined some aggressive growth targets for the Premium offering.

“We expect digital-only subscriptions to exceed print subscriptions by 2023 with a goal of more than 210,000 subscribers by the end of 2023,” Boggs said.

“Our aim is that over 15 per cent of New Zealand households will be New Zealand Herald subscribers in print or digital by 2025.”

The aim for the audio arm is to increase revenue share and to further consolidate the company’s market-leading position.

NZME also outlined targets for property platform OneRoof, which will soon be led by industry sales veteran Paul Maher, who is joining the company from TVNZ.

The announcement precedes the company’s investor day meeting, which will see executives from across the business outline plans to achieve these core objectives.

This comes after NZME revised its dividend policy on 10 November, saying it would return to paying dividends to shareholders in 2021.

The NZME share price closed at 73 cents on Friday last week, up significantly from its lowpoint of 18 cents at the end of March this year.

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