Towards payment walls

With the evident increase of digital readership in the world, printed media are now more determined to monetize this extraordinary volume of audience by setting payment walls to access their content, a way to cushion the gradual decline of their advertising revenues.

To achieve this, they’ve endeavored to improve the quality of said content with added values ​​and thus establish a qualitative difference in relation to the mass, but not always reliable, information that flows constantly through the digital platforms.

The main newspapers of Spain has already made the decision to set payment walls in 2019, encouraged by the success in this regard that the giants of the American and English press have had, seeing the numbers of paying users only grow. These pay walls were set behind special content, such as news, analysis, reports and structured interviews with perceptible higher quality than the standard offerings.

So far, advertising revenues of the US and Spanish press are still higher than those of their digital platforms, even when, in quantitative terms, their readership is obviously lesser than that of the digital world.

The higher volume of users that use their digital media, the greater are the chances of making them part-take in a partner or subscription model of the actual printed media, thus ensuring a longer-term financial sustainability. In fact, these subscription models have only gotten more engaging. In Sweden, for example, 77 percent of digital users pay for quality-content of the written press.

By establishing competitive and comfortable rates for access, accompanied by real incentives for consumption of special services and entertainment, plus the reliable character of the contents, the media have found a good point of support to bet on, thoroughout the on-going transformations of the printed platform, which purport huge changes of the traditional paradigms without losing any of the rigor of the professional journalism.

When we examine the landscape of the digital subscriptions, the World Newspaper Organization (WAN) lets its members know that these subscriptions, and new advertising formats, seem to be the cure for the decline in ad revenues and sales of the printed media, while the digital advertising growth has not yet filled the void.

“The success of the printed media is due to a modest ambition for dissemination, the implementation of credibility and the production of top notch contents,” concludes the WAN.

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.