Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Postmedia Network says it will launch metered paywalls using Press+ system at two of its properties 'immediately'

The Financial Post reported this afternoon that Postmedia Network Canada Corp. will put two of its newspaper property websites behind metered paywalls, à la the New York Times. The two newspapers, The Gazette in Montreal, and the Victoria Times-Colonist on Vancouver Island, will use the Press+ system developed by Journalism Online.

“Our newspapers as well as publishers around the world have been watching various paid content models be attempted. We’re not alone. In fact, I think everybody is watching to see how to monetize this model,” the Financial Post quoted Postmedia spokesperson Phyllise Gelfand as stating. (The Financial Post is a Postmedia property, as well.)
The two newspapers, according to the report, will take slightly different approaches to the metered paywall: The Gazette will allow print subscribers unlimited access to digital content, while non-print subscribers will be charged $6.95 per month, or $69.95 per year for complete access. (Need I say that these prices are in Canadian dollars?)

Meanwhile, the Victoria Times-Colonist is charging non-subscribers $9.95 per month and are offering print subscribers only a "preferred rate" for digital access.

"A number of other U.S. papers closer in size and content to The Gazette have also started asking online readers to pay for unlimited access to all their content, which previously was largely underwritten by readers and advertisers of the print product," Alan Allnutt, The Gazette's publisher and editor told readers today in an online post. "We at The Gazette have decided to follow suit, starting today."

Neither report mentions how, if at all, the new metered paywall will effect the two newspaper's iPad editions. Postmedia launched a series of iPad apps for its newspapers in December of last year.