Canadian publisher Postmedia today launched paywalls for a number of its newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Sun, The Province and Ottawa Citizen.
The metered paywalls introduced for digital content at these three titles will apply to all users. Postmedia has also introduced a paywall for international users on montrealgazette.com and nationalpost.com. The Gazette already had a paid-for content model which was introduced for its Canadian users in May last year.
In an online post, editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun Harold Munro said charges had to be introduced for those not subscribing to the print edition and who want unlimited access, due to "increasing economic pressure on media and the rising cost of gathering information".
Print subscribers will not have to pay extra to gain full access to the website and it mobile apps. However those who only want a digital subscription will pay "an introductory rate" of 99 cents for the first 30 days. This will rise to $7.95 for every 30 days after the introductory period for the Vancouver Sun and The Province, and to $9.95 for the Ottawa Citizen.
The Ottawa Citizen pricing matches that offered for unlimited access to the Montreal Gazette website and the National Post.
This digital subscription offers users access to the website, as well as content on tablet and smartphone devices.
The metered system will mean that those who do not wish to subscribe can still access breaking news online at no cost, and will also be given an allowance of up to 15 articles for free every 30 days.
Munro added: "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".
Vice president of communications Phyllise Gelfand added: "The idea of charging for unlimited access to online content is not a new one; it has already been implemented in May 2011 on montrealgazette.com and by news organizations around the world.
"We believe that in order to continue to offer our readers the quality and depth of award-winning journalism and the features and functions readers have come to expect from our websites, a paid content model is the way we need to proceed."
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