Nov 14, 2012

Game on in Fairfax v News paywall battle as Fin goes metered

Fairfax's The Australian Financial Review will adopt the same subscription strategy online as The New York Times -- but will it have the same positive impact?

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

The Australian Financial Review‘s hard paywall experiment is officially dead, buried and cremated. The Fairfax business daily will join its broadsheet siblings by adopting a New York Times-style metered model in 2013 — a move that follows earlier decisions to slash subscription costs and make more stories available for free.

The decision, announced to staff on Monday in an email sent by Financial Review Group CEO Brett Clegg, sets the scene for a fascinating battle between Fairfax and News Limited next year as the bitter rivals pursue digital strategies that are subtly, but importantly, different. By this time next year, we should have a good idea who backed the right horse.

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5 thoughts on “Game on in Fairfax v News paywall battle as Fin goes metered

  1. Gavin Moodie

    Hooray! The Australian Financial Review’s web presence was dreadful.

  2. Peter Shute

    the UK Times website is aggressively off putting so there is a good lesson there. It’s good to see the AFR has seen sense.

    This isn’t rocket science despite the muddle so many publications have got themselves into. Sure the mechanics may require experts but people haven’t changed : the modern day equivalent of going into the newsagent and flipping through a publication to see if you wish to purchase, is surfing the net and finding an on-line publication that appeals.

    A range of digital options should have been bleeding obvious – such as purchasing one-off articles or a one off read of the latest copy, subscription and so on.

  3. Gavin Moodie

    I agree Peter.

    One off purchases is just what I seek, but apparently the customer isn’t always right.

  4. Ted Whistler

    Fairfax have taken to avoiding the topic. But it does appear that Gill’s assertions about profit were right.

  5. Michael Padden

    Might be helpful to all concerned if Crikey went metered as well…the digital equivalent of borrowing your friends copy until you realise you use it so much you might as well buy your own.

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