I guess it was bound to happen. The Melbourne tabloid owed my News Corp, the Herald Sun, is about to bring out new digital offerings next month and will, as long speculated by the media, bring up a paywall if you want to access all of its content.
The change follows similar moves in the United Kingdom on The Times newspaper, and with The Australian broadsheet last year. The Herald Sun will use a “freemium” model – meaning some news will be accessible for all, and some content will be behind a paywall. What will behind it, however, is still up in the air – but most likely it would not be general gossip, local and national news.
If Andrew Bolt is behind it, however, I’ll be happy.
But why launch a paywall? Well, newspapers are struggling to find a market as newspaper subscriptions are falling and online advertising simply isn’t cutting it. We have done an entire feature piece called The Future of News, examining what are the methods, and how successful have they been in achieving it.
Pricing is unknown, and the actual date of when it will be switched on. But, how effective will it be? We’ll have to see. And I also bet The Age will also be paying close attention to the Herald Sun’s attempts, with speculation that Fairfax will also adopt a similar method as well.