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Paid Access Fails to Find Right Model

A recent series of articles revealed that Newsday.com has signed up only 35 paying subscribers since putting itself behind a pay wall several months ago. The results are not a surprise.

Newsday.com has a rate of $5 a week for anyone who is not a subscriber of the Newsday print product or of the Long Island cable TV service, which is owned by Cablevision and which also owns Newsday.

The $5 a week rate is one of the highest ever attempted by a newspaper implementing paid access to its Web site. A more typical rate is $5 a month rather than $5 a week.

The great majority of online newspapers that have attempted paid access have failed at it and have reverted back to a free, advertising-supported model. A few reasons for these failures are consistent. (more…)

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