Yet Another Newspaper Paywall Dropped

from the not-too-many-left dept

Newspaper paywalls keep coming down. Just a month and a half after the NY Times dropped its paywall for TimesSelect, the Sacramento Bee is freeing its Capitol Alert service. This was actually a more interesting experiment. Launched in January of this year, it wasn't (like most paywalls) about taking content from the newspaper and hiding it behind walls, but creating a separate new service for political insiders. It was pricey, but the idea is that it would be worth it for folks like lobbying firms as it would be information that wasn't available elsewhere. Apparently, though, not enough people really were interested in paying -- especially compared to the prospect of increasing online ad revenues. So, Capitol Alert is ditching the paywall and going ad supported as of next week.

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  • identicon
    BillGod, 2 Nov 2007 @ 9:54am


    Who is this day and age would NOT want to pay for their news?? Oh yeah everyone! Everyone knows how to use google and the fact there are 100000 news sites out there. You would have to have some pretty sweet news that lots of people would be interested in to make people want to pay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    billy bob thorton, 2 Nov 2007 @ 10:37am

    Free Registration

    One more step for the newspaper sites: use cookies instead of "free" registration, why should I bother making up bogus name and address information to dirty up their database just to read an article, if they need to track me, use a cookie (so my cookier blocker can block it too).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob-I-Told-You-SO, 2 Nov 2007 @ 12:44pm

    I hope my Ex-Boss reads this...

    I stupidly stood my ground as a web editor for a 80000 circ paper. My editor at that time was demanding a subscription based model for our news website, because after 4 months the advertising dollars weren't materializing. I was young and cocky and told him I would quit before I would implement a pay based news site. He said I had to and I quit. The bad news was it took me 7 years (I wanted to stay in my small town) to find another job in the field. The sadder news was he never ended up doing anything. I am happy now but during those 7 years I often regretted being so stubborn.

    I guess the point is (bronx cheer) I was right!

    Oh and they are doing well with advertising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • Paid news is dead

    Unless you are involved in a truly unique field, paying for news is dead. I routinely am looking for interesting stories from various press release companies for articles on my website and have never had the need to pay for any of it.

    Anytime I see the mention of a fee, I continue on to the next site. It's not like I don't have several to choose from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eileen, 16 Nov 2007 @ 7:32am

    Rupert is the smartest guy in the room folks

    Making a 5 billion dollar acquisition can be dirty business. The Dow Jones board doesn’t have to take Rups offer until they take his offer. In other words, it aint over until DJ becomes his. If you made an offer for a public company and wanted to make sure that the stock price didn’t go up and possibly went down during the time of your bid and the time of the close, what would you do? You could insinuate that once you get control of the company you plan to sell $10 dollar bills for $5. What would that do to the company stock? When you officially have control of the company, you could say, "we looked at it again and decided not to do that." Rup is a very smart guy, he's not telling anyone anything unless he has an agenda. The reason FT or any other premium content publishers havent responded to rups assertions about going free is because there is nothing to respond to...they know exactly what he is doing and why he is doing it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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