Last week Telegraph Media Group announced that it was to launch a metered-access model for its website meaning that readers who wish to see more than 20 articles a month will have to pay.
The same day, The Sun revealed that it would be adopting a subscription model online later this year when its £20m deal to show near-live Premier League highlights kicks in.
- January 19, 2018
- June 14, 2017
- November 3, 2016
Here we chronicle six years of coverage since the FT adopted a metered-paywall model online:
In an attempt to fend off strong competition from the Wall Street Journal, the FT created a ‘third way’ pay wall. This allowed readers to access 30 articles a month for free, before being made to subscribe.
While online-only content such as blogs remained free, the magazine’s content went behind a paywall to become profitable in its own right.
Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said that pay walls on online news content would be unsuccessful because of alternative sources.
The paywall allowed free access to content under 90 days old, requiring a subscription for any older material.
Guardian News & Media considered introducing a paywall for PaidContent, its digital media news site, surveying readers on competitors and possible prices.
Stephen Pinches, FT lead product developer, said that the Financial Times’ video content will be moved behind the title’s paywall.
The regional publisher had introduced a paywall on some of its local paper websites in England and Scotland, but qremoved it after a few weeks and the experiment appears to have been failure.
Daily Mail & General Trust, owners of the Daily Mail and other local newspapers, insisted that their websites will never have a paywall, and that ad revenue will pay for the sites.
The Times and Sunday Times websites held a free trial period before erecting an all-or-nothing pay wall, stopping readers accessing any content without payment. This was the most ambitious paywall to date.
In a survey held by PR Week, 78 per cent of participants said they did not believe the pay-for-content online model would work.
Alongside its News International peers, News of the World relaunched and required readers to pay a daily or monthly rate to access content.
Since magazine publisher and broadcaster Emap reintroduced a paywall structure to its B2B websites, the company said that subscriptions were pushed up by a quarter, with 70 per cent renewal rates.
The UK’s biggest local paper announced that it would be launching a ‘premium’ version of its website for paying readers only. Readers who read for free merely receive highlights of the day’s news.
The Sun said that there were no plans to put its website behind the News International paywall, saying that the ‘mixed’ model was working for the website.
Brand Republic, PR Week and Media Week were just some of Haymarket’s titles to go behind a flexible paywall. Readers could access a certain number of articles before having to pay for full content.
A year after The Times and The Sunday Times introduced their all-or-nothing pay wall, their sites had over 100,000 subscribers, News International said.
Newsquest's Herald & Times, publisher of The Herald and Sunday Herald, announced their plans for a paywall which would allow readers to access some free articles before having to pay for the full website.
Focusing on American readers, The Independent said they were going to charge international readers after they had read 20 articles. The website would remain free for UK readers.
Less than a year after its introduction, the pay wall on the Wolverhampton Express & Star was scrapped. While the website went back to being free, the iPad and iPhone apps still cost £1.49 a week.
The Greenock Telegraph, one of Scotland’s oldest regional newspapers, announced the introduction of a partial pay wall to access the majority of the website.
The Times and Sunday Times doubled their digital subscription costs to £4 a week for unlimited website access.
The Times’ opinion section ventured outside of the paywall with a Tumblr account providing additional coverage and links to other magazines and news sites.
For the first time since its introduction, the all-or-nothing pay wall on The Times’ websites relaxed so that Google showed the title and first sentences of articles in Google searches.
The Daily Telegraph followed in The Independent’s footsteps and erected a partial pay wall for non-UK readers. International readers were able to access 20 articles for free before having to pay for digital content.
Breaking away from the rest of the UK press, the Daily Mirror launched its iPad app for free during the week. International readers had to pay for the app.
With a huge increase in income, the revenue from the New York Times’ subscriber income overtook money from ads for the first time.
A month after political blog The Dish launched, funded entirely by reader subscriptions, over $100,000 was raised from over 5,000 readers.
Following on from its peers, The Washington Post erected a pay wall that allowed readers to have access to 20 articles before asking for payment.
After the successful international trial, The Daily Telegraph will widen its partial pay wall to UK readers. After 20 free articles, readers can pay just £1.99 a month for unlimited access to the website.
Just hours after The Daily Telegraph’s announcement, The Sun followed suit, charging readers who wanted to see more than 20 articles on the website.