Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Chicago Tribune sets access to their website at $14.99 per month; metered paywall reached at five 'premium' stories per month

The egos at the Tribune Company appear to be a bit out of control. Today the paper announced that it would be charging $14.99 per month for access to "premium" content on the newspaper's website, about the same rate as the New York Times. The metered paywall goes up November 1.

Once again, in an announcement for the new paywall, the company referenced other newspapers (specifically, the NYT) in its announcement. "The free ride is over for online users of the Chicago Tribune," read the paper's own report. (Nice, its readers are considered freeloaders.)

Print subscribers will continue to be access the website for free, but those receiving the paper less than seven days a week will have to pay $2 more per month for digital access.

"After launching the new in June, we spent the ensuing weeks studying the digital habits of our consumers through their free online registration and direct feedback," Bill Adee, vice president for digital development and operations at the Chicago Tribune, said a memo announcing the paywall. "Based on that data, along with price testing, we have put together what we call the digitalPLUS package."

This paywall, unlike most others, will nto be very porous unless editors limit the number of stories consider "premium": users will run up against the paywall after only clicking on five premium stories per month.