Philly Newspapers To Get Online Paywalls

Philadelphia-Inquirer-AMore newspapers are opting for online paywalls.

Interstate General Media revealed plans to begin charging for online content from The Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister publication the Philadelphia Daily News. As part of the strategy, both newspapers will be getting their own Web sites; they previously shared

According to the announcement, the new Web sites (with paywalls) will appear in the first quarter of 2013. The exact details of subscription plans have yet to be decided, but most newspapers that have erected paywalls have opted for a metered model, offering free access to a certain number of articles every month. After that, readers must buy a digital subscription. will continue to operate and publish content as a stand-alone site, with a focus on video and entertainment.



The decision to adopt online paywalls follows a number of other new digital initiatives from the Philly papers, which were acquired by IGM from creditors earlier this year, following a contentious, drawn-out bankruptcy process. Last month, revealed a new design, and the Daily News launched a new tablet app that includes custom reading lists and more social media integration.

Separately, rumors are circulating that The Washington Post is also planning to begin charging for online content with a metered model sometime around mid-2013. Five Canadian newspapers owned by Quebecor’s Sun Media just implemented paywalls earlier this month; the Web sites for the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun and Edmonton Sun all deploy metered access models on December 4.

Also this week, The New York Times reported Bloomberg LP founder and current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering buying the Financial Times from Pearson. News of Bloomberg’s interest follows rumors that Pearson would sell the property following an executive shakeup. Ownership of the Financial Times Group would also give Bloomberg half ownership of The Economist. Thomson Reuters is considered another possible bidder.

3 comments about "Philly Newspapers To Get Online Paywalls".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 11, 2012 at 9:27 a.m.

    That's good news. Next time I want local Philly news for free, I'll link to the broadcast news websites instead.

  2. Stephen Staloch from Mainstreet Media Group, December 11, 2012 at 1:34 p.m.

    With the value of those mastheads not on the national radar screen rapidly diminishing, and the industry flocking to gimmicks in order slow the demise of print, I'm convinced it's time we allowed the marketplace of readers to decide if and when the individual pieces of content produced should be monetized. Not sure how a story or video achieves maximum viral interest and is talked about around the kitchen table or water cooler if parked behind a paywall, and keeping score of how many stories I've read or viewed during a publisher-defined period of time is an instinctively negative experience for consumers and technologically porous in practice. And just how many sites will a consumer subscribe to in order to read or view what they want to consume?
    Maybe not yet Armageddon, but the issues mainstream publishers face are debilitating and their way of doing business today, unsustainable: aging printing presses reaching the end of their useful life with a negative future ROI; employees cleverly but indefensibly disguised as independent contractors delivering their products; an archaic belief that readers will continue to support a masthead simply because of its one-time relevance and legacy; and the stark realization that with each readership study commissioned, the demos relied on for their very existence are looking even less like the audience advertisers demand they reach.
    With the proliferation of metered paywalls, the vast majority of media companies appear intent on writing another Darwinian chapter in their history by following the big publishing dogs over what could well be a fiscal cliff of their own making.
    It’s time for innovation that gives publishers the tool to create a new revenue stream based on monetizing individual pieces of content that are credible and virally-certified by the marketplace of readers as worth paying for, rather than replicating failed subscription models of the past.
    Steve Staloch
    President & CEO
    Tolltrigger, LLC

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 11, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.

    Management more recently stated that video had no place on the newspaper on line site because Phila. was not a video market....Now, you can bank the desk slowly.

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