The go to site for all political news will be joining the bandwagon in testing the faith of metered paywalls. According to an article on the website, for the next six months, Politico will be testing a metered paywall on readers. The site will be playing with different prices while checking to see how effective the paywall will actually be. The test will be conducted in: Iowa, North Dakota, Vermont, Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming, and internationally.
I read the memo Politico sent out to its staff with the reason for the paywall. The company stated that the point of the experiment is to test their “readers’ willingness to pay for our journalism.” Then, the company made the point that one day, very soon all media companies will charge for its content and that basically Politico is just to testing the waters a little earlier.
When I read the first two paragraphs of the memo, I thought it was a load of PR crap and said to myself, “okay first you were iffy about getting this paywall and now that you see how successful it has been and you want to do, just say it!” But as I kept reading, I sensed some type of sincerity in the memo.
As I finished reading the entire memo, I saw that I really liked what Politico’s motive was for trying the paywall. I personally think that paywalls are a great idea for CERTAIN papers and I like that Politico is trying it out to see if it will fit. I like that the company has other ideas and are exploring and thinking of ways to make money outside of advertising. I also like the facts that were put into the memo. Apparently over 300 media companies are already doing paywalls, some have seen success while others have seen failure.
It was announced last week that The New York Times beat USA Today as the second largest U.S. paper. The Wall Street Journal came in first of course.
The Wall Street Journal had an average daily circulation of 2.38 million. While the Times had 1.87 million and USA Today had 1.67 million. Although this may seem good, the daily readership in U.S. papers declined altogether by 0.7 percent in a six month period.
This does not surprise me! It is no surprise that The Wall Street Journal came in as number one. In a society where we value business and make a living off of what is going on in the business world, it only seems right that the Journal is the preferred paper. My boyfriend works at a law firm and always talks about how the firm has a subscription to The Wall Street Journal, but no other paper. I would expect the Times to come in as number two, but it seems like it only did because of its online packages.
The paywall the Times put up, from what I’ve read has done the paper justice. In fact, the paper is adding more digital packages for its online customers.
Just an update about paywalls…
Publishing companies like Gannett Co, owner of USA Today and The New York Times Co., owner of – well obviously, The New York Times, are noticing that consumers are actually willing to pay for online subscriptions.
When the originally idea of paywalls came up, most papers were against it in fear that it would keep readers away from the online sites, but it actually did the opposite.
So what’s the outcome now?
Well according to this article, Gannett had 46,000 online subscriptions at the end of 2012, two-thirds of which were new readers. The Times Co last year generated more revenue from circulation than advertising mainly because it “led the way” charging for online access.
Now that papers are testing out paywalls and noticing the success, expect more papers to join the bandwagon and start charging. Hopefully the idea of giving readers a chance to read a few articles for free will still apply to the rest of papers who are preparing to join this trend.
THE CATS OUT THE BAG!!
Newspapers in the U.S. have been slowly transitioning into the paywall phase.
What’s a paywall you may ask?
A paywall is a system that prevents Internet users from accessing webpage content without a paid subscription. It is slowly becoming a popular tool for papers in the U.S. and Canada but is now branching out to Britain.
The Daily Telegraph is the first British general interest newspaper to employ the paywall model. Similar to The New York Times, readers will be allowed to read 20 articles a month on the website for free. Once the reader passes the limit, the paywall will enact and block the reader from reading anymore articles for the rest of the month. If the reader choices to subscribe on his/her own, that reader will have two digital subscription packages to choose from. But unlike The Times, The Telegraph will offer a one month free trial before asking potential subscribers to commit to a subscription.
Hope The Telegraph’s paywall is as a success as others.