Projo Goes PayWall - Are You Ready to Pay More than $200 Per Year?

Monday, February 27, 2012


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Dallas-based A.H. Belo's Providence Journal will go live with its long anticipated pay wall on Tuesday. The pay wall is designed to combat the devastating loss of both circulation and a decrease in advertising revenue. The new pay wall offers 7 different plans. For those who don't have a newspaper circulation and want full Web access, the cost is over $200 annually.

Over the past two decades, the Providence Journal's weekday circulation has decreased from over 200,000 to approximately 77,000 in home delivery and newsstand paid circulation.

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Projo Explanation - Civil War Innovation

“Since 1829, The Providence Journal has delivered value to readers and advertisers through innovation,” said Publisher, President and Chief Executive Officer Howard G. Sutton. “Whether it’s with an afternoon newspaper to bring home the news of the Civil War, or video to report on the War on Terror, or color photography to showcase high school sports, The Journal consistently has been at the forefront of news and information delivery." - Sutton said in a statement to the Providence Journal. Presently, the cost of a print subscription of the Providence Journal is just over $400.00.

This past fall, the Providence Journal introduced a new Web version and according to, the site lost 30% of its traffic. Correspondingly, GoLocalProv has had a 50% increase in traffic since October of 2011 and a 150% increase in traffic year-over-year.

Pay Wall Busts

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In the fall of 2011, the Boston Globe put its news content behind a pay wall. The company poured millions into promoting sign ups for the new pay digital model. But, after four months of advertising and promotion, had little momentum. According to the New York Times Company's financial disclosure (owners of the Globe), "Paid digital subscribers to and The Boston Globe's e-readers and replica editions totaled approximately 16,000 as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2011."

Gannett, the largest newspaper firm in the country, announced this past week that they will be implementing paywalls across many of its 800 newspapers. Regarding the Gannett decision, Jordan Kurzweil wrote in Tech Crunch, "The paywall, whether for Gannett or other publishers, is a finger in the dyke, a cover-up for tectonic shifts in their businesses. For Gannett, local paper audiences are old (that’s what “longtime trust” means), and may well age out of relevance before Gannett’s gosh-darned paywall gets erected."

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Late this past week, the LA Times, a Tribune Company paper, announced that it too would begin a pay wall on


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