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Posts Tagged ‘paywall’

The New York Times Hits The (Pay)Wall

Last Thursday, the New York Times released a bleak report that indicated weak revenues throughout the first quarter of 2013. But bleaker still is the dismal reporting from the paywall: this quarter saw the weakest growth from its digital subscriber base, raising just 5.6% to 676,000 total users.

The new subscriber base for the Times has slowed considerably year-over-year, but this is the first time that growth dipped under 10%.

This graph, developed by Quartz, shows the progression from the last year:

Read more

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NYT and Starbucks: A Real-Life Paywall?

Yesterday, the New York Times and Starbucks announced a partnership that would grant 15 free articles to digital users on the Starbucks Wi-Fi. This isn’t the first time the companies have forged a media partnership — Starbucks outlets across the country have carried a newsstand of the paper, and this loophole maneuver might draw more readers to the coffee shop (and pick up a digital subscription over time).

But is it just another paywall, buried in our real world instead of on our computers?

The Times has already clarified that the system will not allow readers to choose their articles at whim — rather, there will be an available landing page that features a mix of articles from various Times sections as well as breaking news and most-emailed and a rotating “special” section that rotates daily. All of these articles can be accessed daily, through the Starbucks Digital Network or SDN, a fancy way of referring to every store’s free Wi-Fi offerings. Read more

This is Where the Paywall Works

The so-called “News Paywall” has been a subject of debate and ire for plenty of publishers, journalists, business owners and practically anyone with an opinion since The New York Times famously established their 10 article limit in March of 2011. One popular opinion is that paywalls never work — an audience on the internet is much more likely to get their news for free than anywhere else, and the value proposition is too low to keep anyone’s attention (and subscription). But there actually is a group of publications that are able to make the paywall work better than anywhere else, and they’re pulling in high revenue for their material.

Yes, the world of conservative political news media has mastered the paywall. Read more

USA Today Publisher: Paper Not “Unique Enough” For Paywall

Despite paywalls popping up across other national newspapers and on smaller regional papers, including those owned by Gannett, Larry Kramer, the president and publisher of Gannett’s flagship USA Today, said today not to expect his paper to follow suit anytime soon. His explanation? The product isn’t “unique enough” at this point to charge for it.

The Wrap has some additional background on his comments and the conversation today during Business Insider’s Ignition conference, but here’s the gist from Fishbowl New York:

“I don’t want to charge [online] for USA Today right now, I don’t think it is the right thing to do, and there is so much national news out there,” Kramer said. “I think we would lose more than we would gain.”

Kramer also talked about efforts he has taken to change the business and culture of the Gannett paper since taking over as publisher in May.

“The best of our work had been in the newspaper, and I had to change the structure of the staff so they were producing for the digital platform first, and then the newspaper,” Kramer said.

It’s an interesting and refreshingly honest appraisal of the type of content its staff produces for the site, which had 262 million page views in May 2011, according to USAToday.com presskit (that number likely has grown in the past year and a half, though I don’t know how the recent redesign affected readership/page view counts). As Kramer said in his conversation, local news outlets take the advantage in this because they produce original news you can’t get elsewhere or no one else is covering.

YOUR TURN: Do you see a time when it could be viable for USA Today to charge for web access? What would it take to get you to pay?

Online Subscription Solution Raises $1.75M

MediaPass, a subscription manager for websites, announced that it has raised $1.75 million in series B funding. Established to offer monetization solutions for online content, MediaPass offers web publishers, big or small, a simple way to implement paid content models. While developing and applying a paywall can be complicated and time consuming, users of MediaPass simply need to copy and paste a few lines of code. The service is highly customizable, and allows users the options of metered paywalls and choosing specific content that requires subscriptions. Read more

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