web analytics

Dealing with the pay wall economy

Ben Brooks gets close to the heart of the problem with pay walls when he writes Subscription Hell. It’s hard to make money from pay walls. The only online sites that do well are those like New Zealand’s National Business Review or The Economist. Both serve well-heeled audiences with unique, quality content readers can’t get […]

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 […]

Testing if readers will buy online news

Will readers pay for online news? There is evidence readers will buy specialist information. Business newspapers are able to find subscribers. NBR readers buy news. The Economist does well online. Yet no-one seems to have cracked the puzzle of selling general news. Not even Rupert Murdoch. Which is strange, because for years people paid for […]

No copyright in newspaper headlines

Australia’s federal court decided copyright doesn’t apply to newspaper headlines. The decision strikes a blow against publishers wanting to hide content from non-paying online readers behind paywalls. It came in a copyright claim made by Fairfax Media over headlines in its flagship business newspaper, The Australian Financial Review (AFR).  Disclosure: I spent seven years working […]

How a newspaper paywall succeeds

It is early days for the newspaper paywall. The experience so far says successful paywalls have four things in common. Paywalls work for business newspapers like The National Business Review (NBR), The Australian Financial Review and The Financial Times. Commentators often say paywalls and subscriptions work for niche titles providing specialist coverage and editorial quality. […]