Money wall

Paywalls in my back yard: A forecast for newspaper business models

7 min read

It’s now been many years that I’ve been writing and opining about “paywalls” for news websites. It’s not a subject that’s going away, although living in the Boulder-Denver, Colorado, media market, I haven’t had to deal with paywalls myself. Until now. Both the Daily Camera (my local newspaper/news website in Boulder) and the nearby and…


Have we hit rock bottom with local news yet?

6 min read

While I’m usually on top of news-industry news, I confess to not spotting this until today (thanks to Journalism That Matters‘ latest newsletter): an indicator of the plummeting quality of some (maybe many) newspapers after years of cost-cutting. Can it get much worse than this?… On November 6, 2013, the day after Election Day, the…

Follow the leader

10, 15 free web articles a month: Is this a mistake? (Yes!)

6 min read

I think it’s safe to say that what Walter Isaacson and Steven Brill started — a wave of newspaper websites putting up “metered paywalls” where there’s a subscription or membership fee required for site visitors who want to read more than X number of articles per month — has taken hold in a big way….

Don't block people with a "wall"; entice premium users in.

It’s not a ‘paywall’ when it’s ‘freemium’

6 min read

The word “paywall” as applied to news websites sucks. It’s a negative word. If a consumer hears that a favorite news site is putting up a “paywall,” the response is highly likely to be: avoid! Some news-site user monetization systems truly are “paywalls.” I’m fine with saying that The Times‘ (the UK one) website has…

Tomorrow’s the day: NYT ill-advised paywall debuts in U.S.

7 min read

Monday marks the rollout of’s “metered paywall,” which I wrote about (and criticized) here last week (before going on vacation for a week). Here are a few quick developments and additional thoughts about what is an important milestone in the digital-news space: What do you think of the NYT paywall? Tell Columbia researchers! Columbia…

NYTimes’ new pay model: They blew it!

5 min read

If any non-niche, general-interest news organization could successfully pull off a digital “metered paywall” model, I thought it would be the New York Times. Alas, today the Times announced its plans and pricing, beginning March 28 in the U.S. (and being tested first in Canada). I’m disappointed. This is really a bad move that shows…

It’s on: Kachingle vs. NY Times Co.

3 min read

As I noted yesterday, web donation network Kachingle has launched a good-natured guerrilla marketing campaign to allow Kachingle users to financially support any of’s 50-plus bloggers. The theme is “Stop the Paywall!” (as in,’s upcoming “metered paywall,” set to debut in early 2011) … “Keep the NYT Blogs you love in the open…

Kachingle fires a blog salvo at’s metered paywall

4 min read

This is an interesting case of what I guess would be termed “guerrilla marketing.” Kachingle, an online user-donation network that aims to financially support many websites and blogs, has begun a campaign to “STOP THE PAYWALL” at First, some quick background: has announced that it will put up a “metered paywall” on the…

No, I’m not ‘against’ people paying for online news

6 min read

In my last blog post, I ranted about Rupert Murdoch’s “hard paywall” on The Times and Sunday Times websites, suggesting that his company’s newspaper division needs to think in shades of gray when it comes to website paywall models, because the extreme black-vs.-white approach being taken is likely to fail. I received the following comment,…

Investigative reporting = premium paid content?

2 min read

Within reports of MediaNews Group about to institute a metered paywall at a couple of its newspapers by May is something disturbing. This excerpt is from a Bloomberg report about the newspaper chain’s plans: “The newspapers, in York, Pennsylvania, and Chico, California, will give users free access to as many as 25 ‘premium’ articles monthly,…’s decision: Preliminary thoughts

2 min read

So the long-awaited (well, at least by many of us media geeks) decision by has been announced. And the winner is: THE METERED PAYWALL! According to the Times’ own report, by Richard Perez-Pena: “Starting in early 2011, visitors to will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to…

If does put up a metered wall…

6 min read

“New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers,” said’s Daily Intel in a Sunday report. I’m not sure whether to believe the story or not, but since there’s no definitive word from NYT executives yet, let’s play along and pretend this is an accurate report: this spring will launch a “metered” web payment… user survey = FAIL

3 min read

While I do occasionally use the Wall Street Journal iPhone app to look specifically at what has available, on the web I rarely visit the website as a destination (and I am not currently a paying subscriber to either the newspaper or the website). Instead, articles tend to come to me. That is,…