Our site, which has been free up until now introduced membership on September 18th. It's fair to say the news is still sinking in with many readers. But we are very grateful to all those who have already signed up.
Essentially this means that to continue having unlimited access to the site as well as being able to read the members' only “Premium” articles we will publish we're asking you to pay a contribution.
Occasional readers will still be able to read a number of articles each month for free.
Currently you can sign up for monthly membership at an introductory offer of just €2.49/month or €24.99/year.
Since the beginning the aim of The Local Spain has been to give readers the essential news that keeps them up-to-date and informed with what is happening in the country. We also try to debunk any foreign media stories about Spain that don't ring true to us.
We've also tried to explain Spain to readers, whether it's the distinct working culture, the tax laws, the dining etiquette or how to bring up children here.
We also try to help readers with the essentials they need whether it's buying a house, getting Spanish nationality or writing a good CV in Spanish.
For me, The Local Spain is about being able to get everything you need to know about Spain and the life here in the one place.
So from my point of view membership is a positive step. Asking readers to pay brings a responsibility that will make us improve what we do.
But also if we can reduce our reliance on advertising we won't need to chase the clicks like pretty much all sites do these days. We can concentrate on the stories that matter to our regular readers.
Also having paid members will put more power at The Local in the hands of our readers.
We want members to help guide us on what stories or issues we need to cover and to help us cover them. We'll be feeding back our Members' input into our editorial decisions, to help you determine how we can serve you best.
We'll be redoubling our efforts to speak up for the international residents of Spain when they need our help.
But some understandably say “why can't you just make money through advertising?”
The problem is we are working in an environment in which big global companies like Facebook and Google have snapped up a huge proportion of global advertising. We still have some brilliant advertisers, and will continue to value those relationships, but like most other media we also need other more stable forms of income.
More and more people are using Ad blocker software and Facebook recently changed its news feed algorithms so many regular readers no longer see our stories.
Advertising alone can never reliably fund the kind of service we as a company and I as the editor of The Local Spain, want to offer you, our readers.
We want to do more and we want to do it better.
In short we believe membership will help us give you what you need to know about Spain.