Four local Postmedia newspapers will now begin charging their readers a monthly fee to access its content. The launch of its metered paywall system comes as the company undergoes the revamping of its business model.
As part of the company’s many changes, Postmedia Network Canada will introduce a paywall to four of its local newspapers: the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen, the Vancouver Province and the National Post.
Non-subscribers will be able to access breaking news stories and up to 15 free non-breaking news articles every 30 days, but will then be asked to pay a monthly fee. Print subscribers will still have unlimited access to the newspapers’ online content.
The newspapers’ introductory offer is 99 cents per month for full access to their websites and iPad apps. Following the promotion, the Vancouver outlets will charge $7.95 per month or $79.50 per year, while the Ottawa paper will cost $9.95 per month or $99.50 per year. Meanwhile, the National Post will only be requesting money from international readers; 99 cents for the first month and then $9.95 each other following.
“It is my hope vancouversun.com will continue to be a meeting place for readers to exchange ideas and participate in conversations aimed at making our community a better place,” wrote Harold Munro, Editor in Chief of the Vancouver Sun, in a letter to readers. “This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Vancouver Sun with more people reading us than ever before — thanks to our digital platforms.”
Paul Godfrey, CEO of Postmedia, stated last week that a news publication will not survive if you’re providing content to readers for free.
“You can't spend millions of dollars on content and just give it away,” said Godfrey, reports the Globe and Mail.
This introduction of the paywall comes as Postmedia announced in May that it was ending Sunday newspapers in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa and suspending the Monday edition of the National Post throughout the summer. It is also in the midst of laying off an unspecified number of staffers.
Other Canadian news outlets are implementing a paywall structure. The Globe and Mail is applying a metered paywall system this autumn, Brunswick News introduced a paywall earlier this year and the Toronto Star has begun experimenting with paywalls at the Hamilton Spectator.