by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
ads, journalism, paywalls

cablevision, newsday

Wait, Wasn't A Paywall Supposed To Boost Ad Revenue?

from the that's-what-we-were-told dept

One of the claims we regularly hear from supporters of online newspaper paywalls is that even if it decreases page views, it can actually increase ad revenue, because the publisher has a lot more information about the audience and can sell that for more -- and, in theory, the audience is more loyal and engaged. We still haven't seen that in practice, of course. And it's worth pointing out that Cablevision, who put up a disastrously ill-conceived paywall for the newspaper Newsday, is now reporting that ad revenues continue to decline pretty substantially. To be fair, some will point out that Cablevision doesn't care that much, and is really just trying to use Newsday to stop people from dumping their cable TV/broadband offerings. That may be true -- and the same report does note that Cablevision added both TV and internet subscribers -- but it's worth pointing out for other news publications who make the claim about how paywalls can boost ad revenue.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    AW, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 10:10pm barrel..pew pew... We can win the battles, but to win the war we need the new media to create an event that will cause public outcry before anything is done, 3 years tops before this happens.

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

  2. identicon
    Penguin, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    I hope that Cablevision's ads look better than the ones on this site.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

    Honestly the only reason I haven't signed up to a Newsday or a Times is because of all the extra nonsense that clutters up their portal. I mean honestly? I don't care about some piddling civil war or third-world hunger or this year's elections - they just get in the way of all amazing free ipods and laptops that I can win, or the internet virus scanner!

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

  4. icon
    Pierre Wolff (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 11:37pm

    Nevermind ad revs

    Forget ad revenues on their own, are their subscription fees *plus* their ad revenues (however small these might be) add up to more revenue than just their ad revenues before the paywall went up? That's the real question.

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

  5. icon
    DSchmeling (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 11:52pm


    I dunno, I like Schrodinger's Cat. And sometimes I'm really curious as to what it has to do with some woman's chicken... Maybe if you put the chicken in the room with a cat locked up... Yeah, and a bit of radioactive wonderfulness that if it decays unleashes the cat upon the chicken... Hmmm, Schrodinger's Cat eats Strange Woman's Chicken, it's got awesome written all over it!

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

  6. icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Aug 10th, 2010 @ 1:08am

    Re: Re:

    "Schrodinger's cat eats Strange Woman's Chicken" As the chicken simultaneously did _and_ did not cross the road.

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

  7. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Schrödinger’s Cake

    You can have it and eat it too.

    Or can you?

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

  8. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Aug 10th, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Advertising Revenue and Schrodinger's Cat

    I think that there is a correlation problem.

    Advertising revenue is declining for a lot media irrespective of whether a pay-wall exists or does not exist. So the question becomes: How can the loss of adverting revenue be attributed to the pay-wall?

    I'm confused as to the relevance of Schrodinger's Cat to the chicken. With Schrodinger's Cat, the cat's state (existence) is undetermined and does not become established until examined.

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

  9. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 10th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Re: Schrödinger�s Cake

    Yes, but only if you put a person in the box with the cake. Until the box is openned the cake exists in both states eaten and not eaten.

    I hope that helps ... :)

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

  10. identicon
    TheStupidOne, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Better Way ...

    If you want to increase your per reader ad revenue, include an optional log in so that readers can comment and rate articles and have it stored in their profile. Then the site can give you suggested reading that you might appreciate, and they can sell you to advertisers for a premium

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

  11. identicon
    Aaron Schoenberger, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

    Paywall = Bad Idea

    I, personally, believe paywalls are a waste. They push visitors away because similar content, if not exactly the same content, can be found on other websites. This needs to be overcome.

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

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