Starting September 5, Philly.com readers may find themselves face-to-face with a metered paywall.
Readers will be able to access 10 articles a month before being asked to pay for the site, which also houses the websites of Philly’s two largest daily newspapers: The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.
Philly.com is owned by Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of all three titles and a for-profit company owned by the journalism nonprofit Lenfest Institute. Last year, PMN and Lenfest worked to bring those three newsrooms, which employ about 250 journalists, together, according to a Poynter article published in May.
The decision to put up a paywall is a response to the downturn in traditional advertising, which can no longer support PMN’s digital and print options, according to a company statement obtained by CBS Philly.
Print subscribers can pay 25 or 50 cents a week for digital access, depending on their subscription level. A new digital-only subscription is also being introduced. It will give readers unlimited access for 99 cents for their first four weeks, before the charge goes up to $2.99 a week.
The digital subscription offer includes unlimited digital and mobile access, Inquirer and Daily News replica editions, newsletters, subscriber discounts, early-bird event tickets and access to crime and property data, according to Philadelphia magazine.In May, Stan Wischnowski, executive editor of PMN, told Poynter the paywall will be followed by other changes, such as expansions in native advertising and premium print magazines. The focus is to turn casual readers into subscribers, added Kim Fox, managing editor of audience development.