Stuff to go paywall?

June 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

is looking at for its online publications in New Zealand, plans to cut staff and may close some publications as it faces the strains from falling advertising.

The Fairfax Media business in New Zealand includes newspapers such as The Press, magazines and online news websites, such as .

In Australia yesterday, parent company Fairfax announced plans to cut total group costs by A$60 million (NZ$72m), above the A$251m already promised to the market following a restructure of its print and digital operations.

As part of the update yesterday, Fairfax released details of digital subscription for its news websites in Australia with packages from A$15 to $44 a month.

In New Zealand, acting managing director Andrew Boyle said just when or how paywalls would be brought in here remained to be seen.

I’m sort of looking forward to the paywalls coming to New Zealand. I’d say it will lead to many more people coming to blogs, as they won’t be able to get their news from the main media websites.

It will be a good opportunity to boost resources at the blog, and try to fill the gap left by the newspaper sites.

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32 Responses to “Stuff to go paywall?”

  1. lazza (381 comments) says:

    Paywalls for the blogs too then? (or some of em … those with”value”).

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  2. magsta (407 comments) says:

    Yep, I’ll be reading select blogs…. can’t be bothered with Stuff now… their email comments section is much too slow to be of any topical interest.
    Stopped buying paper copy years ago.

    Maggy Wassilieff

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  3. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I gave up reading Stuff at the beginning of this year as the quality of journalism was so low. It says a lot that the ‘my stuff’ or whatever they named it, where people can contribute their own articles, were billed at the same level as staff contributions. I haven’t missed it.

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  4. flipper (4,083 comments) says:

    Fairfax will regret any such action.
    But Gina will love it, because it will reinforce her (as the major shareholder) view of the news managerial staff.

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  5. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Nobody’s going to pay for Stuff.co.nz. It’s only good because it’s free.

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  6. virtualmark (1,531 comments) says:

    For the good of their shareholders Fairfax should have sold off any newspapers they could, shut down the rest, and kept Trademe.

    Instead they sold Trademe and seem intent on burning through as much of their shareholders’ value as they can propping up a dying business.

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  7. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    Musicians playing on Titanic’s deck.

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  8. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    Nobody will miss the politically misguided sensationalised tabloid that is stuff.
    Nobody in their right mind will pay for it either

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  9. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    It’s only good because it’s free.

    You get what you pay for.

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  10. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    virtualmark,
    What you advocate is exactly what every shareholder already has the ability to do, by selling shares in Fairfax and buying TradeMe. So it makes no sense for the company to do that. Someone still has to run the newspaper business (while there is still some small profit to be made until it finally dies). The right people to do that are those with the most expertise in it: ie Fairfax. Selling the newspapers to someone else simply creates a mismatch between owners and assets that does no-one any good.

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  11. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I get moderately amused at the MSM. So far as I can tell the only model that works is high quality journalism that people will pay for – like the economist or similar. Too any are going the opposite way – lower and lower quality journalism, equals lower revenue equals “I should charge for my website” equals lower advertising and reach equals lower quality journalism. And nobody notices as they die behind the pay wall.

    I’m not really convinced there’s a market to sell something that people will do for free on the Internet. But assuming there is, I reckon it’s about having a relatively small amount of in house and high quality content. Link to other high quality providers for international content. Act as an aggregator fo the stuff that doesn’t need quality – famous people gossip, cooking and other “lifestyle” stuff.

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  12. Dave Mann (1,223 comments) says:

    I think paywalls are inevitable. Its stupid to give away all your content if you are a newspaper and I’m surprised it has gone on so long, frankly.

    That having been said, up to $44 per month is totally ridiculous. Its a matter of volume, and I’m sure Fairfax revenue would rocket if they charged $4.99 per month, whereas only rich people with more money than sense would be prepared to pay $44 to read a newspaper online.

    My advice would be drop the price expectation, charge something which is perceived as ‘piddling’ and play the numbers.

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  13. Fletch (6,408 comments) says:

    The NZ Herald tried a paywall with their site back in the early noughties and abandoned it later on. I don’t see it working.

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  14. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Yeah, we’re going to pay to be fed lies about global warming, Barack Obama, charter schools, Treaty of Waitangi issues, the road toll, wind power, electric cars, and also for a daily dose of white male hating feminazi environmentalist liberal progressive propaganda from a bunch of half educated well indoctrinated far left wet nappy knuckle draggers who fool themselves that they aspire to the trade of journalism.

    I’m sure the massive amount of money they will receive from those who want to pay to read all of that is going to save these commie scum from the fate that has always awaited them.

    They could try something really radical, like reporting truth, but I guess that would require such a massive change to their operational framework (such as firing every so called journalist they’ve got on the payroll) it would just be too impractical.

    Never mind, I hear Pravda is in recovery mode. They could all trot off there, although given that publication’s recent conversion from a far left propaganda organ of the United Soviet State Republic to a paper that is not afraid to report news on Obama’s probable Kenyan birth, maybe the trash from Stuff wouldn’t fit in there any more either.

    .

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  15. decanker (184 comments) says:

    You do quote these sources often, and at times at length.

    What are the legalities with quoting material that sits behind paywalls?

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  16. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    I think it is a great idea and the more they charge the better. People may look to other sources for their news and current affairs which will expose them to ideas outside of the hard left narritive.

    It all sounds too good to be true.

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  17. virtualmark (1,531 comments) says:

    s.russell,

    What you advocate is exactly what every shareholder already has the ability to do, by selling shares in Fairfax and buying TradeMe.

    Yes, they can. But how many did?

    So it makes no sense for the company to do that.

    Not true. The company is responsible for maximising shareholder value, within its reasonable limits of its capabilities (what it knows how to do) and its assets (what it is able to do things with). Travel back in time 3 years and Fairfax owned Trademe outright, but could already see its newspapers struggling and needing fresh ideas and fresh capital.

    Frankly I don’t have any confidence that Fairfax has the right fresh ideas to turn the newspaper business around. But it is prepared to throw capital at the problem … even without fresh ideas.

    I’d have thought a dispassionate approach would have been to jettison most of the second-tier mastheads, and then spin off the successful mastheads (like the AFR, SMH, DomPost & Press) into a new vehicle. Leaving “Fairfax” to be renamed “Trademe”.

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  18. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    I doubt I’d pay… Especially not $45 a month

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  19. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    MSN, Yahoo, Blogs, TVNZ there are too many alternatives for the paywall system to work. The revenue from subscribers will be far less one expects than the lost advertising revenue

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  20. nostrils (53 comments) says:

    I go to Stuff only for the daily quiz….

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  21. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    “I don’t have any confidence that Fairfax has the right fresh ideas”

    They could report the truth, or real news instead of the made up left wing propaganda that they spout…
    But asking for a balanced report of facts without any spin would be asking to much I fear.

    Oh well, if anyone owns shares in Fairfax, dump em now and be happy you got out with anything

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  22. Peter (1,713 comments) says:

    MSM is only worth *paying* my *attention* to if it’s informative. If it tells me something I didn’t already know, and which I place some value upon.

    I don’t place much value on most of their output, as it seems to consist of spin, churned press releases, left-wing propaganda, gossip, and, worst of all, sport.

    I already pay for some information. I’d pay MSM what they’re worth. Some attention, occasionally. Put up a firewall, they won’t even get that….

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  23. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Who on earth would pay to read Stuff.co.nz?

    It’s semi-literate fluff, full of spelling and grammatical errors that intermediate school students would be ashamed of.

    They should be paying us to read it.

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  24. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    A pay wall for STUFF? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    have any of the decision makers read stuff? absolute garbage.

    Dime goes there for sports but even then i maybe read one article a day.

    Go pay wall, make some more hacks redundant

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  25. Tauhei Notts (1,723 comments) says:

    Stuff is value for money. That is, it doesn’t cost anything and it is valueless.
    Similarly, we have started a six week free trial of the Waikato Times. It has a better Sudoku section than the Herald.

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  26. MT_Tinman (3,204 comments) says:

    Had a chat with a lady from Fairfax about a month ago on this very subject – plus the fact that Stuff/Fairfax want to buy the NZ Herald.

    I pointed out that to sell something you must first have something people will pay for.

    Doubt I got through.

    Fairfax will soon discover their communist mates want everything for nothing and those prepared to pay their way in the world have no interest in paying for communist (There’s that word again DG – twice in fact) propaganda.

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  27. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Good that you used that word twice Tinman.

    You’re an idiot, but keep improving.

    One day you might be worth something.

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  28. lazza (381 comments) says:

    When Stuff read this blog … they may have “second thoughts”. In other words … they’re “Stuffed”.

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  29. MT_Tinman (3,204 comments) says:

    Your DG as well bedwetter?

    Fooled me.

    As for the idiot tag, no doubt about it, I’ve never argued otherwise, just noted at least I recognise and accept my idiocy.

    I’ve even given you a thumbs up – that’ll be one from me and two from you now?

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  30. wreck1080 (3,923 comments) says:

    TVNZ might do well – they will be the only major online news source.

    Last week the herald were saying they were going paywall in a year or so.

    If herald / stuff go paywall, I will not pay, I’ll just look at alternatives.

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  31. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    I believe that ordinary uneducated people should not be allowed to read the enlightened scribblings of the cultural marxists in the msm. Fees should be set at around $100,000.00 a quarter and you should have to first undergo training in correctly interpreting leftist doctrine. All the main TV channels should be pay to view, at around $10 a minute.

    That may encourage NZers to pull their heads out of their arses.

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  32. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Stuff to go paywall?

    Jeez – I had to check it wasn’t April 1st. 8O

    Stuff must be dreaming if they really think someone would pay $45 a month to hit on their site. Indeed, you know they’ve reached an all time low when they rely on ‘reader contributions’ to try and fill space. And yet they expect someone to pay to read it?

    Bwahahaaaaaa….. comedy gold. :D

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