Australia's Fairfax says paywalls necessary

Jun 19, 2011
City workers walking past a Fairfax sign in central Sydney. Australian media company Fairfax Sunday said paywalls were necessary for its business, days after rival publisher News Limited said it would start charging for some online access later this year.

Australian media company Fairfax Sunday said paywalls were necessary for its business, days after rival publisher News Limited said it would start charging for some online access later this year.

Fairfax Media head Greg Hywood said the company, which publishes The Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne-based The Age, would introduce "nuanced" paywalls, but keep much content open to build its .

"We've said that our new app will be a paid product. We will have payment... perhaps behind some paywalls for very special material," Hywood told ABC TV.

"But we want to make sure that people have access to our brands, because if your business is creating audiences, you don't reduce your audiences by taking too much money upfront."

He said The Australian Financial Review, which already has "quite a high paywall", was being looked at to try to broaden access to its material for a wider audience.

Hywood said in the "post classified" Fairfax, the company would work differently to how newspapers had traditionally operated.

"I mean, fundamentally those little print classified advertising which made up the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age for a hundred-plus year, that business has gone online, and Fairfax has captured a portion of that, not all of that," he said.

"What we do with our business now across print and online and tablets is that we use our content, our journalism to create audiences. And the new model is about creating those audiences and creating advertising, not just in print, but across audiences."

He defended a restructure that will see sub-editing duties on The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun-Herald, and The Sunday Age no longer carried out in house but handed over to Pagemasters, a subsidiary of the Australian Associated Press .

"What this is really about is a reallocation of resources," he said, adding that the savings made from production would be reinvested in the reporting, writing and design of the papers.

Earlier this month Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd said it would start charging for online access to national broadsheet The Australian from October, although some content will remain free.

The newspaper's paywall will be modelled on the media mogul's Wall Street , offering a mix of free and subscription-only material.

Since Murdoch's News Corp. announced its intention to launch digital subscriptions in 2009 to counter shrinking newspaper circulation and eroding print advertising revenue, at least 50 papers around the world have begun charging for online journalism.

Explore further: Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Murdoch introduces paywall for The Australian

Jun 07, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd said Tuesday it would start charging for online access to national broadsheet The Australian from October, although some content will remain free.

Australia's Fairfax to charge for online content

Aug 27, 2010

Australian publishing giant Fairfax Media Friday indicated it would begin charging for online content in the increasingly cut-throat newspaper environment as it reported a return to profit.

News Corp. buys Skiff, invests in Journalism Online

Jun 14, 2010

(AP) -- News Corp. is placing bets on two ideas that it hopes will shore up sagging business models for media companies: electronic reading devices and charging readers for access to websites.

Recommended for you

Chinese tech giant Alibaba set to make a splash with US IPO

9 minutes ago

The largest tech IPO of the year will come from a company that many Americans have never heard of. Alibaba Group - a Chinese e-commerce behemoth - has decided to go public in the U.S. after months of speculation that it would ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

22 hours ago

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Apr 19, 2014

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Thex1138
not rated yet Jun 19, 2011
Dummies... why don't they simply hire journalists to write more... if Blogging on web sites works... why don't publishers do the same...
See they sacked the journo's to save money... ironically that's what people were reading... independent journalistic content...
Not biased like the Murdoch press

More news stories

Hackers of Oman news agency target Bouteflika

Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman's official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria's newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped "dictator".

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.