The Times finally took the paywall plunge today, but US newspaper giant Gannett has stopped short at dipping its toes.
The publisher is conducting a “small-scale test” by putting subscription services around three of its local titles, reports Poynter Online. The Tallahassee Democrat, Greenville (S.C.) News and (St. George, Utah) Spectrum will charge $9.95 a month for online-only access, fees for web-and-print bundles will vary.
Gannett had “weighed a lot of factors” in selecting three of the publisher’s 81 titles, vice president for news Kate Marymont told Poynter’s Bob Mitchell. “We didn’t want to start at our very largest properties.”
“[W]e know this is not the model,” Marymont acknowledged.
She said the company want to explore the revenue potential of niche content and the effect of paywalls in smaller markets.
“We want to test the idea that our journalism is more of a service than a product, and that we should give readers a selection of delivery methods.”
According to vice-president of corporate communications Robin Pence, the tests will help the company “develop a long term strategy for paid content”.