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metered paywall

RR Donnelley's Press+ announced today in a press release that 323 publications are now using its metered digital subscription model platform to generate online revenue, up from only 24 last year.

Press+, cofounded in 2009 by Stephen Brill and Gordon Crovitz and purchased by RR Donnelley in 2011, helps newspapers establish paid-content models by limiting the amount of free articles readers can access online from between 5-15 per month rather than using hard paywalls, according to the press release.

Numerous large US and Canadian newspaper companies, including McClatchy, Tribune Company and GateHouse Media, operate through Press+, the release stated.

Press+ said results of its metered model implementation have been generally positive, claiming advertising revenue either stayed the same or increased for most publications and that readership held steady, despite more limited access to articles.

“By asking their most engaged readers to pay for digital content, print publishers have built a high-margin, recurring revenue stream from digital subscriptions that will carry their businesses into the digital age,” the release said.


Gianna Walton


2012-04-02 17:10

Earlier this week the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism published a study about newspapers' often unsuccessful attempt to build digital revenue

As paidContent reported, the study left out data about digital subscriptions revenues, focusing only on advertising revenue.

A press release by Press+ claims to fill that gap, revealing some of the trends they have detected, based on aggregated data collected from 285 publishers who are using the Press+ platform.

All 285 of Press+‘s active affiliates have opted for meters over full paywalls, paidContent reported, quoting co-founder Grodon Crovitz who said: “We now have the data to show that meters are better than old-fashioned paywalls. (…) With meters, publishers keep all their online ad revenue and readership whereas of course with paywalls there’s a big decline in both.”

According to the press release, publishers have found they can set their meter at a lower point than they originally thought, offering fewer articles free, without significant drops in audience or advertising revenues.


Federica Cherubini


2012-03-09 18:39

The New York Times Co. is testing out its paywall strategy, but not on its flagship newspaper's website. Rather, the company has set up a metered paywall on the website of its Worcester, Massachusetts newspaper, the Telegram & Gazette, The Times announced yesterday.

Beginning today, the daily will allow readers to view 10 local news articles each month for free. After that threshold has been reached, they will be offered several different online subscription options, from a US$14.95 monthly pass, to a $1 day pass.

Flagship newspaper The Times will launch its own metered paywall early in 2011; however, it "has not yet set a pricing schedule or said how many articles it will allow online readers to view before they are charged," the article stated.

For a previous article on this topic, visit our sister publication,


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-08-16 18:32

January 2011 will be the end of the free

Executive editor Bill Keller revealed the news yesterday evening at a dinner event for the Foreign Press Association, but he did not give any other information, such as pricing or paywall model The Times will use, Fast Company reported today.

The Times will only charge for access to selected stories, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In the past, chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has said those who don't pay will only be able to read a certain number of stories per month, according to the National Business Review of New Zealand.

Allowing users to read a certain number of articles before they are prompted to pay in order to read more is a "metered" paywall, such as the one the Financial Times uses. The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, provides a mix of stories each day - some paid, some that can be read for free.

The Times has about 20 million unique users, the NBR noted.


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-05-15 00:16

As the newspaper industry increasingly embraces various paid online models, newspapers in New Hampshire, United States are following suit, with several planning to roll out a metered payment system for online content soon, reported yesterday. The papers include The (Nashua) Telegraph, Concord Monitor, The Portsmouth Herald (Seacoast Online), and The Conway Daily Sun.

"The news industry's well-publicized financial problems, combined with technological improvements, are tipping the scales in favor of charging for online content - a move that has long been considered risky because of consumer expectations that information on the Internet should be free," the article, by Ashley Smith, stated.

The Seacoast Media Group, owned by Dow Jones, plans to launch metered payment access in September or October, said John Tabor, president and publisher of Seacoast Media Group, according to

"After 10 or 15 years of this, we know that you can't support a newsroom with a free online model and digital ads," he said.


Savita Sauvin


2010-04-05 23:48

The New York Times is still planning to launch its metered paywall early next year, because that model is right for now; but in the future, it may not be, Times Co. Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. said at Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Media Summit 2010, paidContent reported today.

"We believe going to a metered model now is the right thing. But 10 years from now? Who knows?" he said.

Sulzberger also discussed the issue of being in control of subscriber lists when it's time for The Times' digital version to appear on the iPad, Crains New York Business reported. And if Apple CEO Steve Jobs wants control, he's in for a fight.

"Having that direct relationship with our customer is critical," Sulzberger said during a Q&A session at the conference. "We are going to continue to have that, because it's critical to our business success."


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-03-12 00:09

Building a great system takes time, which is why The New York Times isn't in a hurry to launch its metered paywall this year, President and CEO Janet Robinson said in an earnings call today, paidContent reported.

The new system will "keep us connected to search driven Web" by being flexible between paid and free content, she said.

In the mobile arena, The Times' free iPhone app reached 3 million downloads since it was launched in July 2008, according to MocoNews. In December, it had 75 million mobile pageviews, Robinson said.

It also has paid apps. Its iPhone Crossword app which has a tiered pricing structure: 30 day subscription for US$1.99, six months for $9.99 or a yearly subscription for $16.99. The newspaper's BlackBerry Sudoku app and Crossword app both cost $2.99.


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-02-11 00:25

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