'B&C,' 'Multichannel News' Erect Pay Walls Between Mags, Online Stories


The new owners of industry publications Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News have erected pay walls around previously free Web content that could have been causing a drain on print subscriptions. Until Monday, the full contents of the weekly print products had been available gratis on each publication's Web site.



Now, an "All Access" system has been put in place, giving only paying subscribers access to the magazine's print version online. Both B&C and Multichannel have their own "All Access" offering. At $199 a year, it includes print delivery; the Web entrée; free use of archives; and discounts on events hosted by the brands.

Each magazine's Web site will continue to post breaking news in real time that will be available for free. So will blogs and other offerings.

A spokesman for New Bay Media, which publishes the two magazines, did say the editors could opt to make some midweek content available just to the "All Access" group. For example, with a prominent news story, the widely covered aspects would be free, but some later analysis might be walled off.

Touching on what many publications are grappling with, the spokesman said that in general, it made no sense to offer the same content free on the Web that print subscribers were paying for. There is no option for someone to pay less than $199 just to view magazine contents on the Web.

New Bay, owned by a private-equity company, bought B&C and Multichannel from Reed Business Information late last year, along with consumer electronics publication Twice.

Variety -- a competitor to the two New Bay magazines still owned by Reed -- erected a more stringent pay wall last year, allowing complete Web access only to subscribers. Non-subscribers can view just five articles a month on the Web site for free.

Larry Dunn, the publisher of B&C and Multichannel, recently left for a job at Newsday.

1 comment about "'B&C,' 'Multichannel News' Erect Pay Walls Between Mags, Online Stories".
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  1. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., October 7, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.

    ...and 80 to 90 percent of their online audience went someplace else. Buh-bye, wonder why? Looks like the publisher got out of there just time.

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