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As newspapers, magazines and media companies across the country struggle to maintain advertising revenue, many sites are are turning to paywalls to monetise their online readership. By requiring readers to pay for access to their content online, publications are hoping to supplement their dwindling print revenues.
They see increasing subscriptions at The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times’ booming online revenues and wonder how they can make it work.
Several media companies are experimenting with paywall strategies in the upcoming months and weeks.
The New York Times
Proposed date up: January 2011
Description: So far, the Times is not giving too many details about what the paywall will look like. Users will be allowed to view a certain number of articles for free each month. To read more, users will have to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Print subscribers will automatically have unlimited access to NYTimes.com.
Worcester Telegram and Gazette
Proposed date up: Summer 2010
Description: The New York Times-owned, Central Massachusetts paper plans on Non-subscribers will have to pay a monthly subscription fee or must purchase a day pass after reading a certain number of staff-generated local news articles. The numbers have not yet been determined.
How will it do?:
Proposed date up: Could begin testing as soon as May 24, 2010
Description: Under the current proposal, users will be able to watch the five most recent episodes of current shows. If they want to watch more, they have to pay $9.95 a month to access the full library, called Hulu Plus.
The Times/ The Sunday Times of London, News Corp's British papers
Proposed date up: June 2010
Description: A single day's access will cost £1, or $1.48, while a week's subscription will cost £2. Payment allows access to both the The Times and The Sunday Times of London online. (The two papers currently exist on a single Web site).
Proposed date up: By summer
Description: After 300 staffers were either laid off or took buyouts, ABC News is looking for new revenue streams to help boost profits. Paul Slavin, senior vice president, digital, told paidContent in March that ABC News is still considering its paywall strategy. What exactly are they planning to charge for? They are looking at blogs and content 'we know have a strong and determined audience. Whether it's certain types of politics or investigative news or certain kinds of things we can add value to. The conversation is not just around the content. It's about finding some sort of functionality or added value product or package that we can ask people to sign up. It's not too dissimilar when you used to get a gift when you called up to subscribe to Time magazine.'
Proposed date up: Metered model went up last week
Description: Non-subscribes will be able to access three stories in a 24-hour period. Previously, users had free access to most articles on the site seven days after they were posted on the site. Then articles were shuffled into the archives, which are only available to subscribers.
The New Republic
Proposed date up: Went up April 7, 2010
Description: Some content, such as blog posts. online-only columns, and the occasional feature will be available for free. But most long-form magazine articles will be behind a paywall with three premium plans: $29.97 for access to all Online coverage; $39.97 for a year's subscription to the print, digital, e-reader versions, plus online access; and $44.97 for TNR Society, which additionally includes online archives, insider newsletters, articles, and invitations to high-profile events.
Proposed date up: Went up April 19, 2010
Description: Access to rollingstone.com is still free, but if you want to check out 43 years of archives or even just the entire content of the current magazine, it will cost you. A single month pass runs for $3.95 or you can get an annual pass for $2.50 a month/$29.99 a year.
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