Friday, November 06, 2009

Sites to Start Testing Journalism Online's Paid Content Models

The Post-Gazette is doing this.

Posted by Steve Myers

Sometime in the next month or so, between five and 15 online publishers will start testing Journalism Online's system for paid content. Around year's end, they'll start charging users to access some content on their sites. But the vast majority of users will not notice anything, said Steven Brill.

Most people talk about paid content as "pay walls." Brill, co-founder of Journalism Online, likens it to a gradually deepening pool.

"Imagine a fancy swimming pool at a resort," Brill explained by phone Thursday, "where you can walk into the water 20 or 30 steps before you're really in the water, instead of having to dive into the deep end where you're worried about how cold it is."

That's the basis of Journalism Online's pay model ( : If publishers are worried that charging for content will cause a huge drop in page views (and thus advertising revenue), they can dip their toes in by choosing settings that affect a minimal amount of content or just the most frequent users. Publishers can decide if they want to swim to the deep end as they see how users respond.

Even the most intense users, those who visit a site several times a day for instance, will not suddenly learn that their favorite site has blocked off content. "There's going to be nothing for customers that's going to be sudden about this," Brill said.
Read the Entire Post (
I don't buy into the swim pool illustration, but that is beside the point.

I'm not a P-G+ subscriber. Am I missing anything?

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