Here’s a sneak peek at the Jan. 31 issue of Marketing
The writing was on the wall for awhile now, but in 2013 much of the writing will be behind the wall.
All four of Canada’s major English-language newspaper companies have committed to some sort of paywall, charging people to read content online. Some are already in place, others are in the works.
It’s a fundamental shift that many have argued was inevitable once newspaper and magazine ad revenue started its precipitous slide nearly five years ago. Others will tell you the model will not work, arguing that content must be free and supported by advertising. So which is it?
Well, the experiments are ongoing and really just underway in Canada, but the turning point was clearly March 2011 when The New York Times put up its metered paywall. While critics still point to flaws in the Times plan, the speed toward charging for content online is picking up. Just last month, popular American political blogger Andrew Sullivan cause a stir when he announced his The Dish would separate from The Daily Beast and go ad-free, “suggesting” subscribers pay $19.99 to get behind the wall, starting in February. They could pay more if they want. Many did, and in two days The Daily Dish reportedly rang up more than $400,000 in subscription revenue, better than half of the revenue needed to run the blog for one year.
Here are a few of the noteworthy notes and numbers on digital contort consumption coming out from behind the wall.