Is the grass greener over the paywall?

by Christopher B. Daly

It’s probably too soon to start celebrating (or re-opening closed news bureaus), but there may be some reason for optimism about  the future of journalism. Specifically, there is new evidence that paywalls  are effective in getting people to pay for real news. Here is a trend-spotting piece in the WSJ. The takeaway:

. . . paywalls have begun to give newspapers a way to slow, and in some cases reverse, circulation declines, raise prices and open up a new source of revenue.

More broadly, charging for digital access also allows newspapers to reduce their reliance on volatile advertising toward more stable circulation revenue—a story that investors like to hear, analysts say.


And here is something I had not noticed until this article prompted me to check. Look at what has happened to the stock of the New York Times Company in the last six months.


Hmmm… could this be the beginning of something? From a low of just over $6 a share back in May, Times stock is up to nearly $11 a share  — almost double in six months. That’s enough to make me wish I had bought some (back in May, of course).


1 Comment

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One response to “Is the grass greener over the paywall?

  1. Canada’s Globe & Mail will be starting a paywall in late October. Their announcement sparked over 2,000 comments today; predictably, most are negative. So, why can it work for iTunes, but not journalism? Oh, right, one is ‘entertainment’ and the other is ‘bad stuff I don’t likely want to hear…’


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