Free digital access disappearing in US

2012-12-09 22:38

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Washington - The free lunch for digital access to most US newspapers is disappearing but paywalls seem at best a partial answer to the industry's woes and analysts are split on the decision to block out readers.

Big newspaper groups including McClatchy have begun implementing paywalls at their dailies, along with Gannett, which has paid subscriptions for most of its local papers but not for its flagship daily, USA Today.

At best, Mutter said, newspapers can gain a modest income from paywalls, and be able to count digital subscribers for advertising purposes, even if these are already print subscribers.

But Doctor said the most successful digital subscriptions are those that are integrated with a newspaper's print edition, illustrating the dilemma of the internet for their business model.

"Readers have been receptive. Our system works," he added.

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