In July 2010, the Times newspaper began charging for online content through an online paywall. This was done to address the problem of falling revenues that had come about through a long term decline in sales of print copies. This case study looks at how successful the Times paywall has been in rectifying the revenue decline.
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The Times paywall can be hailed neither as a spectacular success nor a disastrous failure.
A metered paywall, as adopted by The New York Times, has proved a more successful approach.
The cost structure issue ultimately means that many newspapers will become unprofitable long before they run out of subscribers.
Your key questions answered
- Has the Times paywall rectified the decline in long term print sales?
- Is charging for online content the answer to falling advertising revenues as a result of the decline in print sales?
- Why has a metered paywall proved more successful than the Times' watertight version?