12.28.2012 11:00 AM

Paywall prediction

With most newspapers now erecting pay walls around themselves in 2013 – something that will only ensure that fewer people read them, not more – web sites like this one will become increasingly dominant.

Two points: one, when everyone is charging for stuff that they until recently gave away, the guys who still give stuff away will reign supreme. Two, it may work for the New York Times.

But not everyone is the New York Times.


  1. John Matheson says:

    Perhaps large, internationally significant publications are going to get enough pay subscribers to make it work. In terms of English-speaking culture, that is Hollywood, New York and London and probably nowhere else. I think we may have too many newspapers in Toronto… Craigslist has killed classified advertising, and online retailers are killing the local retailing businesses which have bought display ads in the papers.

  2. Paul E. Tico says:

    Looks like you read David Climenhaga today. http://albertadiary.ca/2012/12/paywalls-a-real-fiscal-cliff-for-a-plunging-news-industry.html Best make sure you attribute his article lest you suffer the wrath of http://mediaculpapost.blogspot.ca à la Wente.

  3. J.W. says:

    Huffington Post (CA,UK,US) editions all free, both original content and links to print and video, cheeky funny format and headlines, lots of media news, right up to date on politics, not going to miss Globe Star and Sun too much!. Macleans.ca best media site Canada, is free and there’s the free Guardian in UK. These Canadian paywall guys are nuts; humiliating retreat ahead for The Globe I think.

  4. John Matheson says:

    I promise I had not read Climenhaga’s (better written) article before I posted, however I will acknowledge we came to many of the same conclusions. As Climenhaga is considerably to the left of me (being a normal rabble.ca contributor) it all the more portends doom for the traditional papers if we agree. Anglo culture is unifying around an axis which runs from Hollywood through New York to London, and I think if you are off that beaten track you are going to be marginalized in these winner-take-all days. I think the Globe’s ROB/BNN stands a chance as a specialist publication/network, and the SUN might keep a loyal following, which Climenhaga writes off. The SUN manages to stay controversial, which keeps up interest even from their detractors.

    The real roadkill in all of this is going to be TorStar/Metroland, who have to come up with some kind of multimedia strategy or they are toast. They are so middle of the road and uncontroversial they are going to be lost in irrelevancy very soon.

    Some bloggers do make money off their blogs, and journalists have to learn how to do that if they want to make a living at it. Perhaps there is no more need for a ‘publication’ in between the blogger, his/her advertisers, and his/her readers.

    Stuff off the newswire comes into my social network pretty quickly, and people are going to pick and choose what news sources they want dealing with the subjects they are interested in. If you are really curious about an issue you are going to search for opinions on it across the Internet.

    The sky is not falling. We went from 13 channels to over 100, and there is still a Canadian TV industry. This creative destruction is a wonderful effect of human evolution, which is something Climenhaga would never say.

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