Exclusive: Emap to put B2B websites behind paywalls

B2B publisher Emap Inform has told Press Gazette it will put ‘significant parts’ of its websites behind a paywall this autumn.

Chief executive Simon Middelboe said Emap would be in “the vanguard of the B2B industry” by moving back towards paid-for online content.

The changes are expected to come into effect around September or October, once work has been completed on introducing the subscriptions barrier on the group’s websites.

“I think we will be moving away from free content towards having paywalls on all of our print subscription titles over the next few months,” Middelboe told Press Gazette today.

“There will still be free-to-view content but not anything like as much now.”

He added: “We are in the process of building all the bits of technology in Abacus [Emap’s content management system provider] to allow us to put subscription barriers in. We won’t be able to bring in subscriptions until the autumn.”

Emap Inform, which publishes 10 weekly B2B titles including Retail Week, Local Government Chronicle and Broadcast, has already introduced a registration barrier on parts of its websites.

Earlier today, the group announced a reorganisation of the B2B publishing division that could lead to 35 jobs being made redundant.

Middelboe said a consultation period with staff was due to begin next week. More details about the restructuring would be made available after the staff consultation, he said.

Emap is joint-owned by private equity firm Apax and Guardian Media Group.

Speaking at the World Magazine Congress in May, GMG chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “More people are looking seriously at how they can make money charging for content that costs a lot of money to make.

“I don’t think we will be doing much content online in B2B unless we get money for it.”

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