San Luis Obispo Tribune putting up a paywall
December 3, 2012
Online viewers who do not already subscribe to the paper will be prompted, after viewing 15 pages in a 30-day period, to purchase a subscription or lose access, a program the Tribune’s parent company McClatchy already test ran at the Modesto Bee.
In a press release about its second quarter earnings, McClatchy says it plans “to roll out a metered plan in the third quarter in five of our markets.” After that wave is launched, in the fourth quarter, it will start charging for online access at the company’s 24 remaining papers.
“We will offer readers a combined print and digital subscription package that will include access to web, certain mobile and replica editions for a relatively small increase to print home-delivery rates. We’ll also offer online-only digital subscriptions to users after they read a certain number of pages,” the press release says.
Newspaper publishers from throughout the country, suffering from dwindling print advertising and subscription revenue, are hoping to offset the declines through online paywalls. Papers such as The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have already introduced paywalls.
McClatchy revenues for the second quarter of 2012 were down 4.8 percent from the second quarter of 2011. Advertising revenues were down 5.7 percent from 2011, and circulation revenues were down 2.4 percent.
During the same period of time, digital advertising revenues grew 4.9 percent with digital-only advertising revenues up 16.8 percent.