This follows the increase of viewers seen on the platform, which grew by 400% additional subscribers over the past five years.

The new platform aims to be more user-friendly and technologically advanced in its reading, viewing and listening experience. The platform says that in August, there was another new addition to Netwerk24's digital offering. Between Mondays and Thursdays, from 18:00, subscribers can now view the Blitsnuus bulletin, a five-minute summary of the day's news in video format.

New functionalities include:
  • a text to voice function that will enable subscribers to listen to the articles of their choice
  • access to live market data and sports results
  • settings for weather updates and traffic incident alerts in users' specific region
  • an improved comments function at the bottom of articles, and
  • the option to download e-publications in the app and store it on their device to read at a later stage without Internet access.
Henriëtte Loubser, Netwerk24's editor-in-chief, says, "As an editorial team, we are excited about the changes. They will improve the way our work is showcased. When it comes to news, Netwerk24's countrywide team works digital-first. Copy also flows to Die Burger, Beeld and Volksblad (which is a purely digital newspaper these days)."

"This means we don't only focus on news of national importance, but also events that are of relevance to readers in these newspapers' specific regions. We tell stories in which everyday people are the heroes and newsmakers, not only celebrities and politicians. We investigate issues which are of real importance to you, there where you work and live," adds Loubser.

Community newspapers will also be enjoying a more prominent 'display space' on Netwerk24, allowing readers easy access to their TygerBurger, Paarl Post, BloemNuus, NoordkaapBulletin, PE Express and others.

Netwerk24 says that its offering still includes access to top Afrikaans newspapers and magazines in the Media24 stable. This is excluding Landbouweekblad, which will be cultivating its own platform. This brand, with its industry-specific content, is moving to its own digital home and app to which users can subscribe separately.

"The introduction of a paywall strategy for is an attempt at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Landbouweekblad brand," says Chris Burgess, editor-in-chief of Landbouweekblad.

"We want to offer our subscribers unique content in the most convenient way possible. No other service in the world gives you access to the news of the moment in Afrikaans together with content from leading newspapers and magazines (all for only R99 per month (or R3,26 per day) by merely taking out your phone," concludes Loubser.

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