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Shields Gazette possibly pay walled?

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Johnson Press operates trail pay for web service

Johnson Press which owns over 200 regional titles in the UK, including The Shields Gazette, is to be amongst the first media outlets to try and gain additional revenue from it’s websites by asking viewers to pay to read it’s web content. A trial scheme is believed to be starting next Monday with six titles including the Northumberland Gazette where readers will be asked to pay a £5 subscription fee for a three month service allowing them to read content online, or at least the major in depth stories behind a headline.

Managers have told staff that JP intends to roll-out the paid-for model across the company in line with what they are calling “industry moves in this area to find a sustainable business model going forward.”

Rupert Murdoch’s News International has already made clear it intends to erect paywalls on its national titles from next spring, but JP is the first regional publisher to trial the model.

Managers will be keeping a close eye on sales of the printed editions which have been steadily falling for the past couple of years, as well as watching the effect on advertising revenue as they hope that visits to websites by subscribers make up the difference in lost sales on the streets.

One drawback is the huge amount of choice for news delivery on the internet, which does not necessarily replicate itself in newsagents.

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Written by curly

November 30, 2009 at 10:16 am

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