Led by the likes of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, the rest of the newspaper industry is gradually attempting an experiment to charge readers for stuff it’s always given away for free. Newspaper giant Gannett revealed that it’s sticking 80 of its community newspapers’ websites behind pay walls. USA Today web content will remain free for now.
Frequent readers of The Onion’s website may soon be forced to ante up if they want to keep up their regular dose of guffaws from fake news. The company has announced it’s testing out a pay wall that would require payment from overseas readers or limit them to only a handful of articles per month.
In an effort that’s seemingly geared to get iPad users to subscribe to its paid app rather than read the paper through the browser for free, the New York Post has reportedly cut off Safari access to its site on the device.
Hearst, publisher of such magazines as O, The Oprah Magazine and Esquire, is the latest big boy print player to set up space inside Apple’s new virtual newsstand, which hocks subscriptions to magazine iPad apps.
Pay walls haven’t seen much success in the world of traditional media, but the Dallas Morning News is trying its hand at the brick and mortar. The newspaper will allow its print subscribers to view all content online, and will partition off some stories from readers without a $34 print or $17 monthly digital subscription. Digital-only subscriptions will allow readers to view content through browsers or via iPod or iPhone apps.
As some news sites — especially those belonging to national newspapers — move or consider moving behind pay walls as a way to increase revenue, a new study shows that an overwhelming number of online news readers have no interest in paying for content.
Why pay $79 per year to read the Wall Street Journal when you can read it for free? Murdoch’s crown jewel attracts readers by lowering the pay wall for visitors from Google News, Drudge, or Digg. Salon posted step-by-step instructions to help readers exploit this selective generosity.