US newspaper group moves toward 'paywalls'

July 27, 2012
McClatchy Co., one of the largest US newspapers group, said Friday it would begin moving toward paywalls for its news websites in response to the industry's economic woes.

McClatchy Co., one of the largest US newspapers group, said Friday it would begin moving toward paywalls for its news websites in response to the industry's economic woes.

The publisher of 30 dailies including The , Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Kansas City Star said it would begin "metered" Web access in five of its markets starting in the third quarter.

"We will offer readers a combined print and package that will include access to Web, certain mobile and replica editions for a relatively small increase to print home-delivery rates," McClatchy president and chief executive Pat Talamantes said in a statement.

"We'll also offer online-only digital subscriptions to users after they read a certain number of pages. Once the first wave is launched, we intend to expand this model to our other markets beginning in the fourth quarter of this year."

With newspapers under pressure from declining print circulation and advertising, publishers are struggling to get revenues from websites, which have been mostly free.

The began charging in March 2011 for full access to NYTimes.com and it launched a subscription-only website for the in October.

Gannett, the largest US newspaper chain, has also begun moving toward charging for online access at some of its dailies, along with MediaNews Group Inc.

McClatchy said it earned a profit of $26.9 million in the past quarter. Revenues fell 4.8 percent to $299.3 million, with drops in circulation and print advertising offset in part by growth in digital ads.

Explore further: New York Times adds 43,000 digital subscribers

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2 comments

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Shootist
not rated yet Jul 27, 2012
And they'll move away when nobody visits.
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 28, 2012
Eventually online ad rates will increase. As print newspapers slowly go out of business or switch to online distribution models, and as TV shows see increasing timeshifted viewing (both online viewing and DVR viewing), ad models will *have* to change.

The reason for this change won't be external pressure, but rather internal pressure. Companies will still want to advertise, and if they can't do so via traditional means, they'll slowly bid up the price of online advertising (and product placement as well, likely).

Once that happens "free" ad-supported newspapers, radio, and television will slowly begin appearing online. In small numbers at first -- until the tipping point is finally reached. Then there will be an avalanche of ad-supported high quality content available online.

It's inevitable.

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