Starting March 25, the Truro Daily News website will switch to a metered access site (letter from publisher/managing editor). What that means is that non-print subscribers will have limited access to stories, videos and slideshows unless they choose to pick up a monthly subscription.
The first month’s subscription to www.trurodaily.com is 99 cents. The price then goes to $7.99 per month.
“We’re following a trend that is well established now across North America,” said Richard Russell, publisher of the Truro Daily News, about the move to the metered access site.
“There is a cost associated to generating our news content and advertising revenue just isn’t sufficient.”
Subscribers to the print edition will continue to have unlimited access to www.trurodaily.com at no extra cost. All subscribers have to do is register online, which then allows them full access to everything on the site from any computer or web-enabled device. (Frequently asked questions.)
Non-print subscribers have access to 10 articles on our website every 30 days. Once that limit is reached, visitors have the option of selecting an online subscription, or returning the next month for another set of free articles.
“We are convinced there is enough relevant information on our website everyday to warrant non-print subscribers paying a nominal amount each month to access that information,” said Russell.
Carl Fleming, managing editor of the Truro Daily News, says reader demand helped bring about the change.
“We are very excited about this launch,” he said. “Our readers want us to cover more local events all the time and a metered access website helps ensure we can meet those demands.
“We believe our locally-produced news has value and that our loyal readers will support that.”
Since the early 2000s, many newspapers in North America have transitioned from all-access websites to metered access (or paywalls) including the Globe and Mail, Sun Publications (Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, etc.), Hamilton Spectator, New York Times, LA Times, and the Daily Gazette in New York.
The weekly Bridgewater Bulletin switched to a paid website last year, making it the first newspaper in Nova Scotia to do so.
Rick Edmonds, media business analyst and leader of news transformation with Poynter Institute in Florida, said the transitions are happening across the country.
“Up to about 400 of 1,350 papers in the United States have them, so it’s certainly a trend,” said Edwards. “We probably could say that it’s too early to say if all will be successful, but in the general way it seems to be working well enough.”
While there haven’t been many reports done on the outcome of paid websites, Edmonds said there is some evidence out there.
“From some of the companies that have gone that route, particularly with the metered access model, the page views tended to fall some,” he said. “In a way that has gone well is that newspapers typically offer a bundled subscription with some form of print subscription.”