The flurry of paywall expansions is continuing, this time with Canada’s largest newspaper announcing it is going to introduce a digital subscription in 2013.
“This move will provide a new source of revenue for the Star that will help support our ability to provide readers of both our print and online editions with the best and most comprehensive package of news and information in Canada,” wrote publisher John Cruickshank.
But the announcement was short on detail. There was no indication whether it will be a “hard” paywall, meaning you have to subscribe to access content, or a metered one. In the latter’s case, you can access a certain number of articles for free in a given time period until being asked to subscribed.
When the Globe and Mail launched its Globe Unlimited digital subscription program on Oct. 22, it allowed readers to access 10 articles per month.
Cruickshank did say that the Star would be increasing its online offerings:
At the same time, we will be introducing new and innovative features on thestar.com, designed to provide a rich, multimedia experience that will satisfy the interests of readers and address the needs of advertisers.
We will have more stories, videos, podcasts and interactive social media features on the enhanced website.
In addition, we will expand our award-winning journalism both in our daily print edition and on our website. For example, last month we created four new full-time reporting beats: global economics, environment, global health as well as science and technology.
As our digital content evolves and becomes more extensive, we believe it is necessary to supplement our print and online circulation and advertising revenues with digital subscription revenues.
From the Globe and Mail story:
Torstar Corp., which publishes the Star, reported a $35-million profit in its last quarter but warned print advertising revenues at the Star were down across the chain by 11 per cent from a year ago.
“We’ve seen the rates for digital display ads falling as inventory proliferates and we’ve been required to find alternative sources of revenue,” he said. “And I think we’ve now seen from the New York Times that there is a possible and respectable business case to be made if you have the right content.”