Journalism.co.uk’s Rachel McAthy spoke to New York Times’ Paul Smurl before the Easter break to mark the second anniversary of the paper’s move behind a metered paywall.
The interview is worth listening to in full but here are a few lessons I took away from it:
1. It can be worth trading (some) ad revenue for subscription revenue…
2. …so long as you don’t lose too many readers
3. Digital subscriptions can help print circulation
4. Hostility towards the paywall model has softened
5. Amazon and Apple have taught people to pay online
You can read more at the Press Gazette and can listen to the whole interview here.
Great post from Martin Belam yesterday on the Telegraph’s imminent metered paywall.
He ends by despairing at the lack of up to date information about the new plans on the Telegraph site and along the way points out who exactly would be affected by the 20-articles-a-month-for-free-and-then-you-pay model.
Here’s the key passage (my emphasis):
Now, from having spent a long time looking at news website analytics over the years I happen to know that the numbers will almost certainly say that the average number of pages viewed per user per month is between 1 and 5, or something of that magnitude. The only people who will get caught up in the twenty articles a month bracket are:
1. Telegraph super-users and loyalists, who may be tempted to add a print subscription into their package, and can certainly be marketed in that direction over the coming months.
2. Super-heavy news consumers and industry people like myself, who will presumably just tuck it into their business expenses like I do with my Times subscription. And now they’ll have more data about me.