Allow me to share some news about our future together: MiBiz will be moving to a paid subscription business newspaper in 2016.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it: I’m asking you for money. When I was a kid and asked my dad for money, he had two questions: “How much?” and “What are you going to use it for?”
If my dad were still around today, I’d answer this way: “$59,” and “So we can invest in expanded editorial coverage, more networking/best practices events and building the most comprehensive business intelligence website in the region.” As a subscriber, you’ll see a variety of benefits, including:
- More in-depth reporting, analysis and data about the industry sectors that drive the West Michigan region’s economy.
- Expanded business coverage in Southwest and Central Michigan, including Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Lansing, Jackson and the Greater Tri-Cities area (i.e., Flint, Saginaw, Bay City).
- Increased reporting of local, state and federal policy that impacts the business sector.
- Exclusive “ahead of the curve” access to breaking news and analysis.
- Exclusive subscriber-only access to our database listings of companies, real estate developments, M&A activity, capital formation and more.
- Special subscriber-only networking and best practices events.
The price for an annual subscription is $59 per year, which is similar to Crain’s Detroit Business and other city business journals around the country. We’ll be offering multi-year discounts as well as corporate rates for companies with multiple subscribers. Look for an invoice in early December and feel free to call (877-443-1977) or email ([email protected]) if you have questions.
Our goal is to provide local business news and intelligence that you won’t find anywhere else. We want to be an indispensable tool to help you make money, save money or find money to grow your business. Please subscribe!
Brian Edwards, Publisher
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When will I have to begin paying for MiBiz?
January 2016. We are sending out renewal invoices to current subscribers, who will have roughly 90 days to subscribe or their subscription will lapse.
How much is it going to cost?
An annual subscription will be $59, which is similar to the amount charged by Crain’s Detroit Business and many other city business journals around the country. We will be offering discounts for multi-year subscriptions and discounted corporate rates for companies that receive multiple copies of the newspaper. Call our toll-free number (877-443-1977) for more information about discounted rates.
How do I pay my subscription fee?
You’ll be able to pay via check or credit card. Payments can be made by mail, online at mibiz.com/subscribe or by calling our toll-free number (877-443-1977).
Why are you charging for the paper after 28 years of providing it for free?
We want to make MiBiz a better, more useful business tool for our readers and marketing partners. Over the past four years, we have invested in improving our editorial, digital and marketing capabilities. Now, we are asking our readers to help us take things to the next level with broader, deeper coverage and expanded business intelligence that will help them make money, save money or find money to grow their business.
I just recently started my free subscription. Do I have to begin paying for it now?
If you wish to continue receiving MiBiz, you will need to pay the subscription fee. However, you can continue receiving the newspaper at no cost until the end of March 2016. Hopefully, that will give you enough time to figure out if MiBiz provides you with $59 worth of value.
What kind of changes can I expect to see in the print issue?
You will see more and better coverage of the business, economic and policy news that affects West Michigan businesses. That includes:
- More in-depth reporting, analysis and data about the industry sectors (e.g., manufacturing, healthcare, real estate, agribusiness) that drive the region’s economy.
- Expanded coverage of business news in Southwest and Central Michigan, including Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Lansing, Jackson and the Greater Tri-Cities area (i.e., Flint, Saginaw, Bay City).
- Increased coverage and analysis of local, state and federal policies that impact the business sector.
While the vast majority of our subscribers are based in West Michigan, the majority of them do business or plan to expand their sales around the state and the region. We believe they’ll find our expanded coverage a useful tool to help them grow their businesses.
Is the website still going to be free, or are you putting up a paywall?
The website will continue to be free in 2016; however, we are going to reduce the amount of news and information that will be available to non-subscribers.
We will use our print edition to break some exclusive business news stories, as well as for exclusive in-depth stories and analysis. Many of these stories will not show up on the website until 2-4 weeks after they’ve been published.
We will continue to cover breaking news on the web, though in many cases we’ll be giving it to our subscribers first and general web readers several days or weeks later.
We will use our website to offer subscribers exclusive access to regional data, business intelligence and analytical tools that are being developed for 2016.
Our goal is to be a “subscriber first” publication. We want to give our paid subscribers an edge by providing them valuable information ahead of the curve.
Do you expect traffic to your website will go down?
No. We expect our visits and page views will continue to increase at a double-digit rate and that engagement (e.g., time on site, bounce rate) will also improve significantly. This is not general news. This is business news and information. The lists, data, business intelligence and analytical tools we’re developing will encourage subscribers to spend more time on the site.
As a subscriber, how am I going to get news “ahead of the curve” anyway?
We will be using the print issue as well as our e-newsletters, website and PDFs to provide paid subscribers exclusive news/information prior to general readers who view content on the web.
Are ad rates going to go up?
Eventually, but any rate increases will reflect additional value that we can create for marketing partners. We believe these changes will bring several benefits to our marketing partners:
- Increased circulation of our bi-weekly business newspaper. This move will allow us to double our circulation to 20,000 readers by 2018.
- Increased reach and reader engagement through upgraded digital channels, improved SEO/SEM, and new reader events targeting small and middle-market businesses.
- Special advertiser-only networking and best practices events.
Gee, all this sounds great. How do I sign up?
We thought you’d never ask. Just visit www.mibiz.com/subscribe or call 1-877-443-1977.