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Home > Topics & Tools > Digital Media > Paid Content

Paid Content

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How is the two-website paid model faring for newspapers?

October 24, 2013

The metered model is the dominant paid content strategy adopted by U.S. newspapers so far. However, isn’t the only tactic being tried. A handful of metropolitan newspapers have recently launched two websites – one paid and one free – as a way of satisfying two different audience sets and building out two distinct brands.

Perfecting the paywall, then going beyond it

October 08, 2013

There has been no shortage of paywall news the past month with the end of The Dallas Morning News paywall following the fall of San Francisco Chronicle paywall just four months after its launch. However, talking exclusively about paywalls may ignore other opportunities to generate revenue.

Last week, The Morning News shuttered its paywall in favor of a premium subscription strategy. Unlike its hard paywall with no metered access and no way to sneak through, which launched in 2011, all content will be available online for free. Readers can now opt to pay for a premium digital experience which includes “enhanced design and navigation, limited advertising, and access to unique subscriber benefits.

Developing and Executing a Paid Digital Revenue Strategy

May 21, 2013

As more newspapers decide to charge for their digital content, media executives are facing a tough question: what are the best ways to convince customers to pay for digital access and content that was previously available for free? Many are finding success in comprehensive pricing structures that include both print and digital, as well as in proactive marketing efforts highlighting the value of the newspaper’s offerings, especially on digital platforms. Bolstering coverage and offering more services also has been an effective way for newspapers to spur digital sign-ups.

Digital Planning Dashboards

November 12, 2012

NAA and Mather Economics, have collaborated on dashboards that will help newspapers run various pricing and metering scenarios to inform their paid content strategies. As a business planning tool, the dashboards are an excellent means of visualizing trade-offs between different business strategies.

Paid Content Chart

August 09, 2012

NAA is tracking newspapers that have implemented digital content strategies, including approach, cost to print subscribers, launch date and a link to coverage of the launch. If your newspaper is not listed, please contact Dena Levitz.

Paid Digital Content Benchmarking Study

May 31, 2012

NAA’s Paid Digital Content Benchmarking Study, undertaken during spring 2012, is designed as a first step in gauging the impact of newspapers’ digital-content subscription strategies.

The Times-Tribune Case Study

February 03, 2012

Over the years, management at Times-Shamrock Communications has debated the issue of newspapers charging for online content, questioning whether the free-site approach was the right one.

"We never came to a definitive answer,” said Edward Pikulski, the company’s content development manager. “When the technology became available to charge, and in a pretty seamless way for the customer – without implementing a really hard pay wall – we became very intrigued.”

Daily O'Collegian Case Study

September 06, 2011

In March 2011 the Daily O’Collegian, the student newspaper of Oklahoma State University, became the first college newspaper to try out paid content for its online product. But the metered model decided upon only affects a small segment of its readership. If a user is registered with an “.edu” email address, signifying that they either are or were a student or member of the faculty, they never have to pay for content on the website no matter where they are located in the world.

Lima News Case Study

August 26, 2011

In 2009 Freedom Communications was looking to enact paywalls for two of its smaller newspaper markets in order to test out the concept. Lima, Ohio was one of the two selected because the newspaper’s site had substantial traffic in its market and staff had a higher level of comfort with Web-based operations than at some other markets in the company.

Hickory Daily Record Case Study

August 08, 2011

In December 2010, the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record adopted a metered model for users of its website. The change meant that online readers can access up to 15 pages free each month before being forced to pay a monthly fee. Print subscribers are entitled to a discounted rate. The Daily Record, at that point, became the first Media General newspaper to launch a paid content model for its website.

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