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“The current website is now nearly four years old and, while it has served us well, we felt the architecture and aesthetics were approaching their sell-by date,” digital editor Ryan Battles tells paidContent:UK. “This fresher contemporary look allows us to highlight more of our content which was, to an extent, hidden and undiscovered on the current site.”
Amid all the recent printed freesheet drama, thelondonpaper.com has ceased, London Lite never really got going online (it only had an e-edition and londonlite.co.uk redirects to its Associated stablemate Metro.co.uk) and the Standard is still trying to figure out how to marry Standard.co.uk with ThisIsLondon’s mix of entertainment listings and lifestyle.
So what exactly is the job of a website for a medium, the freesheet, that’s intrinsically physical?
“The website works closely with the paper, reflecting the best of the printed product while covering breaking news throughout the day and giving our readers added value content through video, audio, and UGC,” says Battle.
“We want to inform and entertain our readers in equal measure and this balance is reflected throughout the site. We want Metro.co.uk to be their home where they can keep up to date with the latest news but also be informed on the best films and gigs to see. If we make them laugh through some of the quirkier stories found on Weird then all the better.”
Before the relaunch, Battle claimed three million uniques for Metro.co.uk – surprisingly high, and nearly a third that of national Independent.co.uk, for example. But Metro.co.uk, like its printed counterpart, is now a UK-wide, rather than London-centric, publication.