To paywall or not to paywall? That seems to be the most prominent question in the sphere online news publishing these days. In the discussions on the topic, the lines appear to be clearly drawn: on the one side are newspapers such as the New York Times or the Financial Times, which charge for their online content either immediately or after accessing a certain number of articles. On the other side are papers such as the Guardian, which believe that an “open” approach, more akin to the nature of the Internet, will eventually yield solid revenue.
The drawback of this way of thinking about digital publishing is that it may put too much emphasis on the question of paywall, whereas a different angle could be more helpful. GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram makes this point in a recent article, arguing that rather than defining the relationship with their readers through money, newspapers should focus on the relationship they have with their readers. When developed more fully, this relationship would then form the basis that could be monetised.
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