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Filling the Meter: Measuring the Effectiveness of Paywalls for Online Revenue

June 15, 2012 in Experiments, Resources, Revenue

John Winn Miller was convinced an online paywall could not work. Miller, the former publisher of The Olympian — a daily Washington state newspaper with a daily print circulation of more than 30,000 — and current publisher of the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire, firmly believed any form of an online paywall would cost newspaper online advertising revenue. But, in May 2011, Miller, a mere seven months after assuming the position, officially completed his about-face, and the Concord Monitor launched its own version of a metered paywall. It would not be fair, Miller theorized, for cell phone subscribers to receive a free service while landline subscribers are charged for phone service, so why should online readers see all of the Monitor’s content for free while print subscribers face rising home delivery rates?…

A metered paywall is “sticking” in many newsrooms as an attempt to increase digital, content-based revenue. A qualitative study showed that exclusive, enterprise and niche content behind a paywall are helping the bottom line. The study included primary sourcing and interviews with 10-15 publishers and editors in online-only and newspaper newsrooms, as well as media industry executives and experts. The study attempts to address paidcontent concerns as journalism continues its transition from print products to online and seeks new ways to have audience pay for content….

Sources and original interviews include but are not limited to Marty Baron, editor of The Boston Globe; Bill Grueskin, dean of academic affairs at the Columbia Journalism School and former deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal; Alan Mutter, author of the “Reflections of the Newsosaur” blog and adjunct lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism; Mike Davis, assistant managing editor for digital development and sports editor of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; and Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for The Poynter Institute.” Source: Filling the Meter: Measuring the Effectiveness of Paywalls for Online Revenue.

Press+ Connecting content with commerce

March 26, 2012 in Distribution, Experiments, Resources, Revenue

Journalism has always depended on modest payments by consumers, and the industry must re-adopt this model as it becomes clear that online advertising revenue alone does not sustain robust, independent journalism at newspapers, magazines, or online publications. Everyone, from readers to reporters, is facing the consequences as news organizations of all kinds are forced to cut back…

Press+ powers targeted e-commerce strategies – such as metering, segmented content, and topic-based packages – that will convert your most engaged readers into paid subscribers without turning away casual visitors.” Source:

“Press+ is an RR Donnelley company that is pioneering flexible, sophisticated e-commerce solutions for publishers – and easy-to-use, time-saving services for readers.

Press+ was founded by three veteran digital-media leaders: Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV; L. Gordon Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal publisher; and Leo Hindery, Jr., who has led the San Francisco Chronicle, AT&T Cable and YES Network. Under their leadership, the company launched Press+ in 2010.
It’s all about helping publishers around the world reclaim their business on the Web.” Source: