December 6, 2012

Washington Post Plans a Paywall

Keach Hagey, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

“The Washington Post, one of the last holdouts against the trend of charging readers for online access to newspaper articles, is likely to reverse that decision in 2013, according to people familiar with the matter.”

I wondered how long it would take the Post to raise a web paywall after canceling our newspaper subscription a few years ago. The Post web site was giving away all of the paper’s content, even syndicating it by section through RSS feeds. Why pay for what could be had free, especially if I could tailor the content to just what I wanted, and nothing I didn’t?

The New York Times, a rival publication to the Post, raised a similar paywall a couple of years ago. So far it appears to be making money for them without unduly restricting readership. The Post’s effort will likely have the same effect. It’ll give them a little more time to figure out how better to compete in the online news market, if nothing else.

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