300 newspapers now have paywalls
August 29, 2012
Mention newspaper paywalls and the first paper that comes to mind is The New York Times, which introduced one more than a year ago, believing, rightly it turns out, that its devoted readers would pay to read the paper in sufficient numbers to more than offset any decline in advertising revenue resulting from a dropoff in traffic from casual readers.
Perhaps what's surprising is the large number of smaller papers around the country that have followed The Times' lead.
There are now 300 papers with some form of online paywall in place, and that number has doubled in just the last year, according to Newspapers & Technology, a newspaper industry trade publication.
They include a majority of Gannett's 80 U.S. Community Publishing papers and a similar share of papers belonging to Lee Enterprises , which publishes in 52 markets. The Los Angeles Times introduced its subscription plan in March.
What's driving the trend, of course, is the search by publishers for new revenue sources to offset declines in print revenue. But it won't be known for some time whether paywalls will deliver on that hope.
Two issues loom, and first is the business of retraining readers to pay for something they got for free for so many years, and that's likely to be a protracted endeavor. Publishers will be tinkering with what to charge readers to maximize revenue.
The other related issue is one of content.
To get readers to pay, many papers may be forced to make heavier investments in editorial to come up with an online product with enough unique content to justify even a minimal monthly fee. Against the advice of analysts, papers have been slashing newsroom staffs for years, and the result too often is a paper that offers less local news than area TV stations.
Tags: Community Publishing, decline, gannett, lee enterprises, new york times, new york times paywall, newspaper paywalls, newspapers, Newspapers Technology, online, papers, paywalls, print, traffic, tv
Cha-cha-cha: ‘Stars’ struts in Monday finale
CBS yanks tornado-themed ‘Mike & Molly’
No Oscar repeat for Seth MacFarlane
And now, ‘Charlie Rose Weekend’
Broadcast upfront by the numbers
Bonnier buys nine motorcycle magazines
Readers: Pandora’s not a huge threat to radio
San Francisco: Sports spur ad spending
‘Showville,’ sweet on small-town talent
Putting the PSU scandal in perspective
So, how will the upfront shake out?
‘Star Trek’ opens to $84 million
Big turnout for Billboard Music Awards
- Tim Bosch rises to director of media and planning at Likeable Media
- Deborah Turness officially becomes NBC News president
- Kevin Baron becomes executive editor at Defense One
- Russell Maitland and Heidi Corn join Veria Living
- CJ Kettler becomes CEO at Channel One News
- Robert Sarabia becomes VP of sales at Telemundo Station Group
- Nick Pahade becomes CEO at Poptent
- Emilia Sherifova becomes CTO at PulsePoint
- Colin McLean and Tousanna Durgan join Crux
- Benjy Sarlin becomes a politics reporter at MSNBC.com
- Cristin Milioti becomes a regular on CBS's 'How I Met Your Mother'
- Actress Christine White dies at age 86
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Media planner opening in San Francisco
Media buyer/search specialist in Los Angeles
Media supervisor position in Kohler, WI
Associate media director in New York
Digital media planner opening in Boston