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Slovakian media goes behind the paywall

Yesterday nine news outlets in Slovakia joined together to put up a joint paywall in front of parts of its content – some more than others – as part of a new premium content subscription model by Piano Media.

The platform means users pay a monthly fee of €2.90 ($4.20) for unlimited access to all sites.

Once users have subscribed they will automatically be logged in to all of the participating sites, which in Slovakia currently includes Pravda and SME, along with video portals, tv stations and magazines.

Publishers have decided how much content they wish to place behind the paywall, some closing almost all their content to non-paying users while others are leaving general news free and instead selecting content such as commentaries as premium material to be paid for.

The paywall launched yesterday with a free two-week trial, with charges coming into effect from 2 May.

We spoke to Piano Media CEO Tomas Bella, about the reaction from within Slovakia so far.

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In the coming weeks and months there are plans to incorporate the subscriptions within Internet Service Provider packages, to be offered to users when they sign up for their connection, as well as launches in other countries such as the Czech Republic.

Bella told Journalism.co.uk the aim is for after the first year to have 0.8 to 1.5 per cent of internet users paying subscriptions to the system and five to 15 per cent after three or four years.

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