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Bill Bennett


Subscriptions, not paywalls

Karen Fratti thinks publishers need to stop using the word ‘paywall’ to describe ways online sites charge readers. She prefers we talk about subscriptions.

Fratti writes:

 let’s stop talking about putting up walls to keep people out. The paywall has only led to griping from consumers who’ve reached their monthly article limit, and unique ways to get around them. We’re wordsmiths, we know words matter, and ‘paywall’ is another relic of the old media-new media debate. Knock it off.

I agree with Fratti on this, rightly or wrongly paywall makes me think of the watch towers and armed guard that patrolled central Berlin during the Cold War. The paywall is the new media’s equivalent of Cold War thinking.

Can’t We All Just Subscribe? Why ‘Paywalls’ Won’t Get Us Anywhere – 10,000 Words.



3 thoughts on “Subscriptions, not paywalls

  1. Yes. Wall has negative connotations we got taught a lot about this when working for a contact centre and what words led people to pay their bill and what led them to put it off. Believe it or not payment of debt went up 250% over a period of 18months (Millions of dollars more got paid).

  2. I like what Tek Syndicate are going to do in that if you appreciate their content you can subscribe and donate monthly or whatnot. Your money doesn’t get you any more content, but it does get you a badge to tell people you are of the paying variety.

    I think for small communities like that it can work very well as they make incredible videos and you want to give them money for it whereas NZ Herald would get nothing; the bigger the community, the more anonymous you feel, the less you care about it overall, the less of your own resources you’re willing to put into it. I hope this is where we are heading – aggregated specialised communities.


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