September 16, 2015 Last Updated 12:27 pm

La Presse announces weekday print edition of the newspaper will be shuttered January 1

Success of digital edition allows newspaper to go virtually digital-only, only maintaining its Saturday print edition beginning in 2016

The print edition of La Presse, Canada’s French-language daily, will be shattered come the first of next year. Unlike similar announcements, this one was not unexpected, and should not be seen as a failure of print so much as a success of digital.

The paper has been saying for a while that it visualized going digital-only and so it has now set the date.

La Presse, published in Montréal, will maintain its Saturday print edition, the paper announced.

Obviously, for anyone covering digital editions, this is big news, and very encouraging. It provides some proof that there if the digital edition is native, if its well done and properly promoted, it can be a success with readers. There is also the question of costs – print and production costs, and distribution costs – to be considered. (Obviously for those whose careers have been in print production this not good news.)

La Presse and also updated its digital edition app which is at the center of all this, La Presse+. The app update fixes a few bugs and makes sure the app is iOS 9 compliant.

Here is the announcement from La Presse:

Montréal, Quebec – September 16, 2015 – On the heels of the success of La Presse+, its free digital tablet edition, La Presse, Canada’s French-language daily of record, will mark a milestone in its history on January 1, 2016. As of that date, La Presse+ will replace the print version of La Presse from Monday to Friday. The Saturday print edition will be maintained, and will continue to be distributed to subscribers and points of sale.

“La Presse will soon become the world’s first major print daily newspaper to go 100% digital on weekdays, and will position itself as Québec’s digital news and information leader,” explained Guy Crevier, President and Publisher of La Presse, “Thirty months after its launch, La Presse+ is now more successful than the print version of La Presse after 131 years of existence. Over 460,000 people(1) have made La Presse+ part of their weekly news and information ritual. At the same time, La Presse+ is a huge success with advertisers, who have quickly adopted it as a creative advertising vehicle—a highly effective and measurable medium for reaching top-quality target audiences.”

“This digital shift was supported with conviction and consistency by La Presse’s shareholder, Power Corporation,” added Mr. Crevier.

In recent years, mass adoption of new technologies has led to a sharp downturn for the vast majority of mainstream media outlets, especially print dailies, which now face an unprecedented critical period. “When we developed La Presse+, we made the decision to create a new model for the digital future,” Mr. Crevier continued: “This edition for tablet is enabling us to maintain, and indeed improve, the quality, depth, richness and diversity of our content, and to continue offering our daily readers in-depth series and features, debates, columns and editorials.”

LaPresse-400La Presse+ is generating outstanding engagement among readers, who spend an average(2) of 40 minutes with the app on weekdays, one hour on Saturdays and 50 minutes on Sundays. It is also turning out to be a very powerful tool for renewing and rejuvenating La Presse’s audience base, since it is successfully reaching and retaining adults aged 25 to 54, who make up 63%(3) of its readership.

The quality of the platform design, the innovative free-subscription business model and the richness of La Presse+’s interactive content have won acclaim on more than 30 occasions in Canada and around the world since the application was launched in 2013.

The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest English-language daily newspaper, yesterday launched its digital tablet edition, STAR TOUCH, powered by the La Presse+ technology platform and developed in collaboration with the La Presse team and Nuglif, a subsidiary overseeing commercialization, operations and implementation of the La Presse+ platform.

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