On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announced plans to charge a $10 monthly access fee to users of its digital content. The Post-Gazette joins a growing number of newspapers to put their content behind a paywall.
Point Park University Director of Communications, Steve Hallock says people in the newspaper industry have been trying for years to figure out how to monetize their internet content. In other markets, such as Toledo, OH, paywalls have been successful. But with Pittsburgh’s competitive newspaper market Hallock says the Post-Gazette is a test case to watch.
“I’ll be curious to see down the road if the Tribune-Review jumps in and does the same thing or if they’re going to wait,” says Hallock “It’s really a test for this kind of market and I want to just wait a year or two and just look at it.”
He predicts that readers will expect a more thorough product from the Post-Gazette.
“The newspapers have to produce the same credibility, that’s what they have to sell. Whereas a lot of bloggers, a lot of independent news organizations don’t have what they call a brand.”
With no length limits for digital content, Hallock says online readers will likely be looking for more in-depth reporting, which newspapers couldn’t traditionally offer on a regular basis.