Web Culture

Paywall Trend On The Internet [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 14-11-2012

Paywall Trend On The Internet [INFOGRAPHIC] journalistBeing a former newspaper journalist, I can sympathise to a very large extent with the plight of print media. With the relentless onslaught of the Internet, and peoples expectations that “information should be free”, print media is caught between a rock and a very hard place. If they modernise and make their news sites open and free to all, they start to hemorrhage money right away, the quality of investigative journalism goes down (because the staff are not motivated enough) and soon that same staff are laid off.


On the other hand, if print media refuses to open up their site and instead hide behind a paywall, they are accused of being an archaic dinosaur and behind with the times. Then readers go to another website for their news, the paywall site loses money, and soon staff are laid off.

But some big name newspapers, such as the NewYork Times and the Times of London, have taken the decision to go behind a paywall and they have more or less flourished as a result. So it shows that, although paywalls are generally disliked by online users who are accustomed to getting their news for free, from sites such as Yahoo News and Google News, there are some people (including myself), who are still willing to pay to read their favourite newspapers.  I have a subscription to the New York Times, because I want to financially support the paper and because they provide me with great journalism in return.

Our infographic today, shows “The Paywall Trend”, which shows who have adopted a paywall and how they have fared. Some have done quite well, while for others, the paywall has been the poisoned kiss of death.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the infographic and about paywalls in general.  Do you think newspapers should put a paywall up to protect their staff and make a profit, or should all news be free? Do you pay for a media subscription or would you consider doing so?  If not, why not?

Paywall Trends


Infographic Source: www.bestcollegesonline.org
Image Source: Journalist Sitting On Bed With Typewriter via Shutterstock

Related topics: Infographic, Reading.

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  1. Mart Küng
    November 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    One businessmodel is not going to fit all. Some things are worth paying for, some are not. Nobody wants to pay for low quality news, but some people are thinking that getting stuff for free is their human right. Well, it's not. And adds can be blocked.
    My guess is, that paywall in itself is never the sole purpos of failure.

  2. Justin Pot
    November 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Seems to miss the fact that advertisers pay far more to reach paying readers, because they're more likely to pay attention to the ads. Losing that advantage will hurt the Times and papers like it far more than a little lost ad revenue from a paywall. They're playing the long game.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Agreed. I love print publications, especially the fading long, investigative articles which offer unique, in-depth covering of things we might not commonly care of. Quality of published stories have been decreasing since about five years ago, and even reputable newspapers now littered with silly typo and incorrect facts.
      Paywall will be received warmly if said publication could maintain its quality. I'm willing to pay if they can deliver me something worth reading.

      • Justin Pot
        November 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Catch22, though, because it's hard to deliver something worth reading before people are willing to pay. There are working models, though. NPR is free to all and funded by voluntary donations, and their investigative work is astounding. Everyone should be listening to Planet Money.