Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Factor involved in the paywall decision

Paid Content have done a quick analysis of factors involved in newspapers putting up a paywall in the US and have come to some conclusions

The newspapers tend to be located in smaller, often rural markets; online-only subscriptions are typically priced at a substantial discount to the print edition (in general, about 75% of what the print product costs); where numbers are available, the number of online subscribers is still a tiny percentage of their print counterparts (less than 5%); and many of these papers say they began charging not so much to make money online, but rather to protect sales of their print editions.

That last point is the crucial one in the business model suggesting that it is making the print version a more scarce and differentiated product.

This from one of the papers

“It will allow greater value to our many loyal print-edition subscribers by not giving away the news to non-subscribers,”

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