MSM|November 1, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: ,

StarTribune Latest Paper to Throw Up Paywall, Expects Decent Return on Decision

startribune paywall

If the New York Times paywall has been successful at anything, it’s certainly been in inspiring other newspapers to enact similar pricing structures.

The Boston Globe and the Dallas Morning News were among some city papers to follow the Gray Lady’s lead, allowing incoming users to access 20 articles for free each month (a decent amount, to be fair) before a monthly charge kicks in. And while there has been speculation that the Times model hasn’t been a hugely overwhelming success (it’s at least confirmed that paying online customers won’t yet offset print losses), the newest paper to put up a paywall is expecting a relatively successful go of it.

The Twin Cities’ StarTribune will add a NYT-style paywall, and StarTribune Publisher Michael Klingensmith said revenues are expected to be about $3 to $4 million a year once it’s up and running:

“There was no reason not to do this from the onset [of news websites]. It was a mistake to go down the path that was taken. I never saw the common sense of it, to turn your back on your subscribers… It’s very meaningful money with a basically marginal contribution.”

While national and entertainment topics will be relatively easier to access through free sources, readers may find local papers like the Times or StarTribune will provide more comprehensive coverage for local issues like sport or weather.