Herald paywall coming

John Drinnan reports:

APN News & Media is gearing up for a subscription model at the nzherald.co.nz website.

The APN board is expected to approve the new model, which is planned to be in place by this time next year and marks a shift to subscriptions accounting for a bigger share of revenue. Chief executive Michael Miller said this week that the time was right to move ahead.

“Ten years ago it was foreign for people to pay anything for digital. Publishers – traditional ones or otherwise – relied on an advertiser-funded model,” Miller said.

“Now people pay for apps every day or for subscriptions to broadband. People are used to paying for digital content.”

A key decision would be how much content to make available for free before charging people for access.

I know a lot of newspapers have gone for paywalls. But apart from specialist newspapers like NBR, I’m not sure how many are actually making money out of them. In a small market like NZ, I think there are considerable risks.

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