Paywalls can pay off

By | May 4, 2017

Newspapers have tried various ways to monetize online content, with many turning to paywalls, which require readers to buy a subscription to read stories online, sometimes after a set number of free articles. A new study by Ross School of Business researchers Puneet Manchanda and S. Sriram takes a deep dive into all of the side effects of online paywalls, including its effect on print subscriptions. Studying the New York Times after it instituted its paywall in 2011, they found that while the paper lost online visitors and ad revenue, it also saw a halt in the print subscription decline. In fact, the New York Times saved enough print subscription revenue to more than offset the lost online ad revenue. “People tend to focus on one issue with paywalls—the web traffic and online subscription revenue,” said Manchanda. “But a paywall starts in motion many parts of a machine, and unless you look at them in totality you can’t determine whether it’s working or not.”" "

Author: News Staff

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