“Based on our experience of publishing on the web for 15 years, paywalls don’t make sense,”says Mark Contreras, senior vice president for newspapers at US publisher E.W. Scripps Co and chairman of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).
In this Forbes.com interview, Contreras refers directly to Scripps’ own experiment with a paid for sports website in Knoxville: “When we took the paywall down, the traffic ballooned and so did its revenue.”
Instead, growing revenue from circulation is preferable and a return to the 1940s newspaper industry model of 60 per cent of revenue from advertising and 40 per cent from circulation is happening, he suggests.
Audience is up. Our subscriber churn has never been lower. Today we have the most stable circulation base we’ve ever had. It’s generating, on a per-unit basis, more than it has in a long time. In some cases double digits.
(Hat tip to @jayrosen_nyu)