WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Wed - 16.04.2014


paid online content

Publishers can be forgiven if they're a little wary when Google says it wants to help them, given the mixed blessing that free distribution of their content by Google has given them.

Nevertheless, Madhav Chinnappa, Strategic Business Partner Development Manager for Google News & Books, says the company's new paid-content initiative, One Pass, is truly designed to aid publishers. "We're doing this because we want to help. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but it's true," he says.

One Pass is a tool that manages access, authorization and payment for publishers' content, directly from the publishers' websites. It is a payment system that enables publishers to set the prices and terms for access to their digital content, with flexibility to allow different subscription models. They can vary the length of subscription, use a metered model, sell single articles or a "day pass" and give subscription discounts.

"We believe in experimentation in this space, because we don't know what will work for each publisher," Mr Chinnappa says.

"We are still developing One Pass. It isn't going to amaze you," he says. "You're not going to get a 'wow' out of One Pass. It just works. It needs to be simple to work. We're developing it in steps."

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2011-04-13 21:14

According to a recent online survey by the University of British Columbia, 81% of Canadian adults would not pay to read news online and 90% would find free alternatives if their preferred news services started charging for content.

"These results should give pause to any news corporations in Canada or abroad that are considering erecting paywalls around their content," said Donna Logan, a professor emerita of UBC's Graduate School of Journalism and the lead author of the study Canadian Consumers Unwilling to Pay for News Online. Almost 1,700 adults took part in the survey.

What is perhaps the most striking number in the report is that only 30% of participants said they would be willing to pay for news online if no free alternative news websites were available. When compared with people in the U.S and UK, Canadians are slightly more reluctant to pay for news online.

The report found that of those willing to pay for news, the majority (34%) would prefer a flat-fee subscription model.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-13 13:50

It seems "paywall" will be the word of 2011.

After the long-awaited and extensively-covered New York Times' metered paywall, two more newspapers announced their plans to introduce digital subscriptions.

The Hearst Corporation is considering a paywall for sfgate.com, the online portal of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bay Citizen reported, citing Chronicle staffers who have been briefed on the company's plans.

No details are available about when the digital subscription will be introduced (possibly at the end of the month) neither about what will be the monthly subscription fee. However "newsroom employees said the paper would likely establish a "hard" paywall, rather than a metered plan that lets readers click on a certain number of articles before cutting off access", the article said.

The article also reported one staffer said that over half of the stories now available for free on sfgate.com could be cordoned off by the new paywall, especially longer, investigative stories that appear on Sundays and many of the paper's popular columns. The paper currently embargoes such stories, printing them in the newspaper before publishing them on the site two days later. Shorts, daily news and breaking stories instead, would likely remain free of charge.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-05 18:32

One of the first news organizations to go behind a full paywall last July, The Times and Sunday Times have gained industry interest in their fate. News International has released numbers for the two papers' digital subscriptions, showing that they have experienced quite a bit of growth. In five months, they have gained 29,000 subscriptions, reported the Guardian. This figure can be added to November's report of over 50,000 subscribers.

Digital subscriptions include online, iPad, and Kindle purchases. News International claimed the iPad app was largely responsible for the growth, according to the Telegraph.

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-03-30 17:39

The New York Times digital paywall went live globally yesterday, after months of anticipation. The paper is offering access to NYTimes.com plus a smartphone app for $15 a month, website access plus a tablet app for $20, or full digital access for $35 (hence no discount for smartphone AND tablet access). For now, a four-week trial is available at 99 cents.

Just before the launch, Martin Nisenholtz, Times' senior vice president for digital operations, spoke to the Newspaper Association of America convention in Dallas, where Poynter's Steve Myers live-blogged his speech.

The digital paywall will provide flexibility: at its launch, 20 free articles a month will be offered to non-subscribers, and Nisenholtz said that the meter could be adjusted to offer more or fewer articles depending on levels of advertising and leakage. Links are 'free' via search and social media after the limit of 20 has run out.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2011-03-29 12:41

The New York Times paywall has recently gone live in Canada and will go live in the United States next week, and users have already begun trying to find ways to avoid coughing up the cash. Their success has been swift; they've already found two different ways to make the paywall come crumbling down. Nieman Journalism Lab reported that four lines of Javascript can destroy the entire wall. Mashable also reported about a special Twitter account that links directly to articles, also bypassing the paywall.

Considering the $40-$50 million the Times invested into its paywall project, according to Bloomberg, the ease at which some users have been able to get around it could be considered alarming. The organization has already begun taking action to prevent some of the leaks.

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-03-23 12:48

Now that The New York Times has finally announced its paywall, the wave of comments online is growing and growing.

Enthusiastic and negative, yea-and-nay: here is a review of some of the first comments, thoughts and reactions.
A first impression of what the NYT paywall looks like to Canadians is already available here.

Cost: not so cheap

"The NYT has decided not to make the paywall very cheap and porous in the first instance as people get used to it. $15 for four weeks might be cheap compared to the cost of a print subscription, but $195 per year is still enough money to give readers pause and to drive them elsewhere", commented Felix Salmon on his Reuters blog.

Allowing access to the side door

One of the most highly anticipated decisions was that regarding access via search, links and social media. During the two years of TimesSelect (2005 - 2007) search was blocked, meaning that when readers came across a NYT article via search or links they bumped into the wall.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-18 13:46

@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; } The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism has just released the State of the News Media 2011, the eighth edition of the annual report on the health and status of American journalism.

The study shows that in terms of news consumption, mobile devices are emerging as one of the most promising fields, whether smartphones or tablets. There is also more interconnection between digital actors as boundaries become more fluid: news organizations rely more on independent networks to sell ads, aggregators are starting to concentrate more on news production while mainstream and legacy media are moving closer to the social media world and establishing new partnerships with local and hyperlocal startups, blogs and non-profit organizations.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-14 17:05

The Dallas Morning News has just launched a paywall on its website, Dallasnews.com. Newspaper subscribers can sign in and continue to access all content free, but non-subscribers will now have to pay. The paper has redesigned its website, and launched new applications for iPhone and iPad.

The price for someone outside Dallas is $3.91 for a publication that bundles online access, iPhone and iPad apps, or $2.31 a week for one of any of the above.

From now on, some content is allocated specifically as subscriber content and is marked as such with a symbol. This is "premium content written by our journalists specifically for subscribers," the paper said.

"We are boldly going where others have yet to go," said an email from publisher Jim Moroney to staff, published by Mike Orren on his blog. The reason is "straightforward," he continued: "online advertising rates are insufficient at the scale of traffic generated by metro newspaper websites to support the businesses they operate. We need to find additional and meaningful sources of revenue to sustain our profitability as we journey further into the digital marketplace."

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2011-03-08 18:45

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