World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


The Berlin (pay)wall

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

The Berlin (pay)wall

“Fortunately,” he says, “our readers are indeed willing to pay, and we think it is because they believe there is quality content and it is OK to pay for that.”

Since launching in December of 2009, the newspaper now has 11,000 digital subscribers who pay 4.90 Euros per month to access primarily local and sports premium content. Print subscribers can access the content for free, and 80,000 print subscribers have linked their accounts to the site.

“It is important to communicate how valuable the paid content is, while at the same time letting your audience know that you are not charging for large portions of your website. For example, you can still access our site via Google and social media, which is crucial.”

Interesting, he says, is that traffic has actually increased on the site: At launch, the site had 2.4 million visits. In September 2010, it had increased to 3.3 million, and as of last month, it stands at 5.1 million.

That is in a market that he describes as the most competitive in Germany, with three local newspapers and two nationals battling for eyeballs. However, the Morgenpost is the only paper charging for online content so far, he says.

He says the company is planning to shift to a more metered model, “meaning everybody can access a portion of free articles and other free content before they pay… a softer approach to the paywall.”

The content that resides behind the wall, he says, must be unique. The Morgenpost is developing a number of new forms of storytelling for which it will charge in the near future, including sophisticated graphics, more multimedia content, and investigative pieces, he says.

Author

Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper

Date

2011-10-15 12:56

Author information

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