It didn’t take long for paNOW to become Prince Albert’s most popular news source.
paNOW.com was first launched nearly four years ago on Nov 16, 2010. Karl Johnston, vice president and general manager at the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group in Prince Albert said since its launch paNOW has continued to be a raging success.
“We identified a hole in the market place and we filled it and the community has responded really, really well to having this service available,” he said.
“It is not uncommon for radio stations to launch online news websites but we saw an opportunity to go much further then that and actually create a community portal. There wasn’t one at the time and many communities our size had them, sometimes they were done by the local media sometimes they weren’t and we just saw a big hole to fill,” he added.
Each month paNOW.com gets somewhere around 370,000 unique users visiting the site, 800,000 sessions and over 2.2 million page views.
“We have created an impression and we have certainly promoted with our radio station that we are the go to site,” said Johnston. On a busy day we will have close to 70,000 visits and there is no other website in the community that will generate that kind of traffic.”
Online news is the route that the news industry is taking and paNOW is fortunate enough to be on the frontlines of that transition.
“People have changed their consumption habits they used to consume information mainly from newspapers and television but now they just aren’t using the printed paper like they used to, they have migrated towards a more of an on demand world,” Johnston explained.
“People don’t want to wait for the six o-clock news, they don’t want to wait for the paper to arrive at their door step, they want to get the information that they are interested in when they are interested in it.”
paNOW.com doesn’t only provide free news it also provides free classifieds and free obituaries, which most traditional news agencies would charge for.
“There is an expectation that information should be free online and it costs money to create the content that we do, but we have just found a way to pay for it that doesn’t require us to charge the user,” said Johnston.
Recently paNOW.com also received a facelift with the launch of a new website. It is now bigger, better, and easier to navigate.
“It’s responsive, in other words it’s mobile friendly and will look great on any size device whether you are using a browser on your phone or ipad,” said Johnston.
“The new paNOW is a newspaper in your pocket, it’s a free newspaper and the city’s only free online news source.”
Prince Albert, SK
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