Yet Another Paywall Experiment Fails
from the doomed-to-repeat-mistakes dept
The paywall, which launched the week of July 15th, cost $3.95 a month, 75 cents per day, or was included if you had a subscription to the print version of the newspaper. The rationale was that since online readers were not paying a subscription fee, somehow the value to the print subscribers decreased:
"It will allow greater value to our many loyal print-edition subscribers by not giving away the news to non-subscribers," Patton said. "The days of giving content away, which costs money to create and for which we charge our print subscribers, I think, are just over."As we've discussed here before, this is a flawed argument. The subscription price of a printed newspaper barely covers the costs of printing and distribution, not the production of the content, which is generally funded with ad revenue.
In any case, after 8 months, the The Valley Morning Star took the paywall down, proudly proclaiming they "will be moving back to a completely FREE Web site." By now, so many of these paywall experiments have failed that you have to wonder when the industry will finally heed the lessons they teach.