Essentially that means to continue having unlimited access to articles on the site we will ask you to pay a small contribution.
It also means paying members will have access to extra, more in-depth articles that will only be behind the paywall.
A certain number of articles each month will remain free so occasional readers should still be able to get access to most of the articles about France they choose to read.
Here's the important news of the day.
The membership system will be officially rolled out from April 10th, but prior to that we are offering readers the chance to sign up for half price.
So instead of paying €4.99 a month or €49.99 a year to become a member, you can pay just €2.49/month or €24.99/year.
The offer lasts until the morning of April 10th, when the sign up fee will be €4.99 or €49.99.
If you are ready to sign up then click on the link below to get to the membership page. If you want to know more about why we are launching membership and the paywall then please read on.
So why are we introducing membership and paywalls and asking you to pay a contribution?
The Local France has just enjoyed its most successful month yet, with over 1.1 million unique visitors reading our articles in March.
But the reality of our industry is that clicks, page views and unique visitors don't pay the bills on their own. If we want to continue to grow as we have done over the past five years, we need to ask readers to contribute directly.
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 has just changed its news feed algorithms so many regular readers can 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 France, want to offer you, our readers.
We want to do more and we want to do it better.
But everything we do costs money. We pay for the journalists, the office rent in Paris, the laptop computers that frequently cave in under the pressure of trying to cover France, we pay for news articles from Agence France Presse and we pay for photos.
We want to pay for more in the future including more freelance contributions from readers and special events that we will invite members to.
Becoming a Member of The Local means more than just getting more to read. We also want to build a new, collaborative relationship between us and our readers.
Having paid members will put more power at The Local with 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.
And we'll be redoubling our efforts to speak up for the international residents of France when they need our help.
From my point of view a major positive about asking readers to pay is that the responsibility 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 people for whom France matters.
Now of course you might not be convinced by these words. That's OK. I see the the responsibility to persuade you to join is wholly on us and we hope to be able to meet the challenge by writing article after article that you want to read.
How will it work?
A paywall will be introduced on April 10th that means after a certain amount of articles readers will be asked to become a Member in order to carry on reading.
That means occasional readers of The Local will be still able to read the vast majority of articles we publish for free although they wont be able to read certain more in-depth articles, which will be for Members only.
Now I know to some, around €5 a month will feel like a lot of money to hand over for something that they were used to getting for free. That's understandable.
I prefer to look at it as 16 centimes a day to get around 10 stories a day on France and have unlimited access to our sister sites around Europe. That's not bad is it?
I hope you'll consider it.
And a reminder. The link below takes to the page where you can sign up for half price. Although remember the offer will end on April 10th.