When NBR ONLINE first introduced its paywall in 2009, people lined up to give it the bash.
Sam Morgan, then a Fairfax director, called it “the brick wall” and he was one of the politer ones.
But it turns out that if you deliver news people can use, they are willing to pay for it.
People did sign on, and new subscription options have seen numbers accelerating over just the past six months to hit 4000 individual paid member subscribers today.
Their numbers are supplemented by 336 organisations with IP (internet protocol) subscriptions that let every staff member access NBR ONLINE from their office.
4,000 individual subscriptions is a good achievement. I suspect the bulk of the revenue comes from the 336 corporate subscriptions but still a useful contributions.
As Fairfax and NZME look at paywalls, they should look at how NBR has managed to do it profitably. From what I can tell, they do two important things:
- Provide lots of really good analysis, not just news (which you can get anywhere)
- Have some stories outside the paywall to get visits, but the best stuff behind the paywall so people know it is there and want to see it