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Boston Globe drops paywall

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LongTimeListener, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Going to the old "10 free stories a month" model.

    http://jimromenesko.com/2014/03/04/boston-globe-our-paywall-is-officially-down/#more-63233

    That's a paper with a lot of unique content in an educated area. (In truth, also a paper that has been caught with its pants down on some big stories.) If they can't get a paywall going, I'm not sure where it's going to work.
     
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    What if a paper eliminated its Web site?

    Seriously, give readers two options:

    1) The print product;
    2) Tablet subscriptions.

    It might fail spectacularly. But it might be crazy enough to work.

    Newspaper Web sites, clearly, are a financial sink hole.
     
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I would love to see that. Maybe in a community that skews older? I have long been a fan of the idea of print-only, and the tablet/mobile portion -- which can be controlled through subscription a lot better than a website can -- adds to the intrigue IMO.
     
  4. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    That's not "dropping the pay wall."
     
  5. It's still a paywall, just slightly different. You're still paying for unlimited content. To me, this is the best way for newspapers to go. Do some free stories each month, give breaking news for free always, then charge for everything else. Are there ways around the paywalls? Of course. But, eventually I'm sure, someone brilliant will make it a bit harder to do than a simple cache dump.

    However, I'd also entertain the idea of ditching websites and going all-moble/tablet app with print product, like mentioned before. That'd be rather radical in the industry, but would be EXTREMELY interested in seeing the results if someone ever tried it.
     
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I guess there's a semantic debate to be had, but ... from the editor's memo: the paywall is now officially down at bostonglobe.com.

    Ten stories a month is just another half-measure that does nothing. This is what NYT does and I get 10 on my computer, 10 on my iPad, 10 on my phone ... I never run out of free stories.
     
  7. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    My old shop doesn't even drop the paywall on AP stories. Been like that for going on five years now.
     
  8. Morris816

    Morris816 Member

    Trying to deal with the technological issues that allow one to get around paywalls and/or article limits is going to be a never-ending battle.

    On the other hand, trying to find a reasonable approach to make the shift from printed to online material and finding a way to make it profitable is fine. The problem is few seem willing to pick an approach and stick with it.
     
  9. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    The Globe says it has 60,000 digital-only subscribers. In a business where paying for news online is still ridiculed by many, that's pretty good stuff.

    It's not a failure as much as it's a strategy shift.

    http://dankennedy.net/2014/03/04/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-the-globes-two-site-strategy/
     
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    However many stories I can read for free on a Web site or via another platform, that's the max number I'll read from that organization.

    If it's 10, I'll read up to 10. If it's 0, I'll read up to 0.

    Do you value my eyeballs on your advertiser's message? Then invite me in. If you don't, I'll go elsewhere.

    Not even saying my approach is right or fair or moral. Just saying that's how I -- and many others, I presume -- make their "buy" decisions online.
     
  11. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    My old shop put up a paywall after 10 stories. But when you reach those 10 stories, the wall/page/graphic designed to block you and get you to pay only takes up part of the page. You can still scroll the story and read it in the top and bottom margins.

    Just makes me laugh a little bit.
     
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Why don't you just pay for the stories so you can get them all on one devise.

    Seems like a complex monthly chore to worry about otherwise. Also makes you look like a bit of a freeloader.
     
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