VALUE THE CONTENT’
Postmedia Inc. is extending a digital pay meter to its remaining properties on Tuesday. The move means online readers of the National Post will be asked to register for online accounts after reading 10 articles for free.
Print subscribers will continue to get full access to the newspaper’s digital properties — nationalpost.com and financialpost.com — after completing a quick registration process. Digital readers who do not have a print subscription can pay $0.99 for the first month and then $9.95 a month thereafter. Digital-only readers can also sign up for the reduced subscription rate of $99.50 for an entire year.
Mail, Sun Media and other major news outlets that have opted for the online pay model. The Toronto Star will implement its digital pay model later this year, putting the online properties of all of the major English-language newspapers in Canada behind a meter.
“We’re no longer in the business of chasing page views from all over the globe,” said Postmedia chief operating officer Wayne Parrish in a recent interview. “We’re in the business of trying to provide deep, rich experiences for those who value the content that we focus on, which is local content and Canadian content.”
Postmedia’s foray into paid online news content started two years ago when the Victoria Times Colonist — which has since been sold — and The
Gazette in Montreal started to charge digital readers. The second phase started late last summer when the
Vancouver Sun, Province and Ottawa Citizen introduced metered paywalls. At that time, the National Post and
Financial Post sites began charging their international readers.
Today’s move by Postmedia will lead to harmonized online pricing across all of the properties of Postmedia, Canada’s largest chain of metropolitan English-language newspapers by circulation.
Major newspapers have charged for their printed content for hundreds of years. When online news sites first became popular in the late 1990s most papers chose to put their content online for free, an act often lamented as the industry’s “original sin.”
With dozens of highly trained reporters and editors digging up, writing and producing original, agendasetting stories, newspaper-based websites operate with a much higher cost structure than most new-media upstarts. As the advertising market becomes increasingly fragmented, newspaper companies like Postmedia cannot rely only on increasing digital ad revenue to fund their news-gathering operations. How to get access: Print subscribers can go to nationalpost.com/activate, where they will be provided with details on how to activate their free digital subscription.
Non-subscribers can sign up at.nationalpost.com/subscribe, where they will be presented with two options: To purchase an All Access Subscription (includes print, web, smartphone and tablet access) or a Digital Access subscription (web, smartphone and tablet access).
- Newspaper’s move pieces in the online pay puzzle (business.financialpost.com)
- Postmedia eliminates publisher positions as part of wider restructuring (business.financialpost.com)
- Postmedia websites to roll out new pay model in weeks (business.financialpost.com)
- The Star in downtown Windsor: ‘We have staked our ground’ (blogs.windsorstar.com)
- Five things about the Canadian newspaper industry (theglobeandmail.com)