The Batavian offers supporters exclusive access to original reporting during first four hours of publication

"Don't be the last to be in the know."


On the day of The Batavian’s 15th anniversary, the Batavia, New York-based news publication launched an innovative reader-revenue initiative, the Early Access Pass.

The unique business model provides readers the option to support local journalism by signing up for the Early Access Pass when attempting to read select, originally reported stories, or waiting four hours to read the story for free.

An Early Access Pass costs $8 a month or $80 per year.

“I’m not aware of any other news publication using a similar reader-revenue model,” Publisher and Founder Howard Owens said. “For 15 years, our news site has been supported by more than 150 locally owned businesses, and we had an obligation to our fellow small business owners to ensure The Batavian remains the first stop in our community for local news.  A paywall like many newspaper sites erect would kill site traffic, but with this model, we anticipate our program will keep our market-dominating traffic numbers high.”

The Batavian is Genesee County’s most popular news source, with 12,000 to 14,000 site visitors on a daily basis and nearly a million page views each month. 

The Early Access Pass will be heavily promoted with ad campaigns featuring the Early Access Pass rabbit and messages that encourage readers, “Don’t be the last to know” and “I would know this already if I had The Batavian’s Early Access Pass.’”

So far, the community has responded favorably to the introduction of the Early Access concept and paid program introduced by The Batavian on May 1.

Founded in 2008 by Howard Owens, The Batavian employs three people full-time and relies on several freelancers to help tell the stories of Genesee County.

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