Sunday, March 20, 2011

Newspapers and paywalls, some thoughts

There now are six fairly large American newspapers with paywalls -- more if you count those like the Journal Sentinel with part of its content walled off (Packers Plus in the JS's case), and offers a nice chart for comparing them.

As you would expect, models range all over the place with differences from price ($1.48 to $5 a week) to free for print subscribers (5 of 6) to what's free and what's behind the wall. I think we're going to see a real rush of struggling content providers moving to some form of pay wall, despite the naysayers out there.

Among the most interesting case is in Arkansas where, as PaidContent says, "The Democrat-Gazette has said its long-standing paywall has helped keep its paid circulation relatively steady over the last several years." Demonstrates the mistake newspapers made in ever going free online.