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  #1  
Old 01-30-2018, 08:09 AM
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Default The main problem with online newspaper paywalls

25+ years ago, most people used only one to three sources of written news. Typically a daily subscription to a local newspaper or two, and then maybe a national weekly publication like Time magazine or the New York Times on Sunday.

You'd read a half-dozen articles while eating breakfast or drinking your morning coffee, then another half-dozen or more at lunchtime or when you got home from work. The number of articles read per day and the time reading it spent justified the $12-20/month they were charging. And some papers had other information of local relevance like movie theater schedules.

But now we get our written news from several different sources each day, usually not reading more than 3 or 4 per day from any one site, some sites once or twice a week, and some sites once and never again. And we check other sites for local event information like movie schedules.

When your news reading is scattered over the web like that, you don't want to pay $10 or $15/month for a single site. But I figure a large percentage of people probably would be willing to pay something like $25/year for limited access (for example 2000 articles*/year) to their favorite news site. With their current all-or-nearly-nothing approach of $10+/month for unlimited access vs. free 10 articles/month with no options in between, they're missing out on potentially millions of paying customers.


*with short articles counting as 1/2 article, 1/4 article etc.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:05 AM
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This article from November on the new era of paywalls is relevant:
https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...ywalls/547091/

Seems like there is a potential market for a bundled pay news service. The New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, & New Yorker all currently have paywalls. I like to read articles from all of them, but I'm not going to pay for 5 separate monthly subscriptions. I would pay more for a bundled service that offered content from all these providers.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:14 AM
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you have to sympathize a bit, no? Many (if not most) people have ad-blockers on their browsers, people don't want to pay for news, so how do they monetize?

Also, it seems that a consequence of this is that you get a bunch of fringe sites that are mostly wacko: eg infowars, newsmax on the right, daily kos, mother jones on the left.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:38 AM
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At 10 articles per month, you can just visit in stealth mode on your browser to avoid most paywalls.

I got a free subscription to the NY Times for a while, and it was nice to not have to Micky Mouse with the browser, so I would be willing to pay something. But, to the OP, I'm not currently willing to pay full price for all of the major outlets.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:05 AM
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Can we go tot he darknet and get passwords for these site?
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llcooljabe View Post
you have to sympathize a bit, no? Many (if not most) people have ad-blockers on their browsers, people don't want to pay for news, so how do they monetize?

Also, it seems that a consequence of this is that you get a bunch of fringe sites that are mostly wacko: eg infowars, newsmax on the right, daily kos, mother jones on the left.
This. That's why I pay for one subscription, purely to support them. You can't expect good investigative journalism that's going to hopefully keep the public informed but not support them monetarily. They have costs. You want the benefits, both immediate (Info) and long term (them continuing to do this important work that's becoming less and less common) and yet you don't want to pay anything.

That's fine, but you vote with your dollars as well. You're telling the world that good journalism isn't important. If it goes away or is heavily replaced with biased and fridge work, you don't get to cry foul.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:39 AM
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I can think of a few models. A portal of some sort like Spotify that allows access to different journals would work. Another option is a pay-per-article approach where you pay like, 5 cents to read an article.

The problem with subscribing to a single journal is the cost is too high. I've subscribed to the Economist on a few occasions, but I found that I only read a few articles per month, so it's not worth it to me to subscribe to the whole thing.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:54 AM
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I was expecting something more along the lines of "you can't kill a fly with it" in response of the thread title.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2018, 11:36 AM
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this article is relevant to this topic, though it's limited to sports:

https://deadspin.com/the-athletic-is...wri-1822157600

The Athletic is Coming for Your Local Baseball Beat Writer

Spoiler:

Sports media outlet The Athletic is hiring at least five MLB beat writers in disparate markets to fill out its MLB coverage, Deadspin has learned.

According to people familiar with the hires, The Athletic has hired Marc Carig to cover the Yankees, Pedro Moura to cover the Angels and the Dodgers, C. Trent Rosecrans to stay on the Reds beat, and Matt Gelb to cover the Phillies.

Additionally, former White Sox reporter Dan Hayes announced today that he will be covering the Twins for The Athletic Minnesota.

Carig has covered the Mets for Newsday since 2012, but was previously on the Yankees beat for the New Jersey Star-Ledger for three years. Moura began covering the Angels for the Los Angeles Times during the 2016 season, having previously covered both Los Angeles–area teams for the OC Register. Rosecrans is a veteran reporter and columnist on Cincinnati sports, covering the Reds for the Cincinnati Enquirer since the 2013 season. Gelb has covered the Phillies for nearly 10 years for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com. Hayes has spent the last five years covering the White Sox for NBC Sports Chicago.

Sources say that the company met with baseball writers at the Winter Meetings in Orlando in December, and was aggressively courting those in big markets and small, on beats and on a national level.

The Athletic co-founder Alex Mather said in a text that “[w]e have no news at this time, but will let you know as soon as we do,” when asked about the hires. The company would not comment further when reached this week.

Moura, Rosecrans, Carig, and Gelb would not comment for this story.

The Athletic currently highlights baseball coverage of eight teams, some of which are based in markets where they have already created specific sites—Chicago, the Bay Area, Detroit—which are populated by a mix of staff writers and freelancers. Former Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal currently heads up The Athletic’s national baseball coverage, and Andrew Baggarly was recently poached from the distressingly decimated Mercury News to join his former colleague, Tim Kawakami, at The Athletic’s Bay Area site.

In an October interview with The New York Times, Mather made waves by saying the goal of his company was to “wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing.” He later walked that statement back, saying he did the interview after drinking “three cold brews” (coffee, not beer), and issued an apology.

Baggarly told Deadspin the The Athletic offers the freedom to cover teams and games without an intense focus on twice-daily deadlines or gamers. Beyond flexibility, an obvious appeal of The Athletic is that they can—and do, according to people who have received estimates and offers from the company—provide a pay increase to writers who are used to traditional newspaper salaries.

Going after experienced and well-regarded baseball beat writers tracks with The Athletic’s overall hiring philosophy, which so far has seemed to put an emphasis on poaching writers with established followings that are more likely to be counted on to pony up for the site’s subscription fee.

If The Athletic’s ultimate goal really is to bleed out local sports sections, poaching some of the biggest names from beats around the country isn’t a bad place to start. If you’re a local sports editor, hold your beat writer close.


for those not familiar with it, The Athletic charges for premium sports coverage and seems to be doing well so far
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inconceivable 2 View Post
This. That's why I pay for one subscription, purely to support them. You can't expect good investigative journalism that's going to hopefully keep the public informed but not support them monetarily. They have costs. You want the benefits, both immediate (Info) and long term (them continuing to do this important work that's becoming less and less common) and yet you don't want to pay anything.

That's fine, but you vote with your dollars as well. You're telling the world that good journalism isn't important.
I'm willing to pay, just not the prices they're asking for. Their pricing doesn't reflect how people read news today; it is based on the old habits of reading one or two newspapers a day, not the current pattern of splitting one's news reading between a half-dozen or more sites.
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