One paywall goes up, another comes down

By AdNews | 2 July 2013

Fairfax has today rolled out its long-awaited digital subscription model for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites, m-sites and tablet apps.

The metered paywall will allow users to access 30 articles per month free of charge before being asked to pay, with subscription packages ranging from $15 to $44 per month.

SMH editor-in-chief Sean Aylmer said in a statement: "Digital subscriptions will enable Fairfax Media to continue to deliver the independent, quality journalism that Australians know, love and trust.

"Visitors will be able to continue to enjoy our content for free just as they do now, with minimal disruption, and subscribers will have access to more content, plus additional benefits.

"The meter and freemium models allow our audiences to choose what content they access and how they access it."

The Age editor-in-chief Andrew Holden added: "We have done a great deal of research into our readers and the subscription model that will suit them best.

"The great thing about our digital subscriptions is they will suit our regular readers as well as less frequent visitors.

"Asking people to pay for our journalism online is an important step in the future of our newsrooms. It will help us continue to provide the best independent coverage in Australia."

The launch of the subscription model is supported by a new marketing campaign via Whybin TBWA, to run in print, online and on TV, building on the 'Know No Boundaries' and 'Forever Curious' positioning.

The Fairfax paywall model mirrors that of the New York Times, which in June reported increases in circulation revenue that outstripped declines in advertising revenue.

On another note, AdNews has today taken down its paywall for all news content. Non-subscribers can now access more than a decade worth of industry news – only archived magazine features will remain behind the subscriber login.

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