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Newspapers Turn to Online Revenue Strategies

19 Aug, 2009 Response This Week

NEW YORK – The current economic climate, compounded with ever-increasing online content, has caused print advertising revenue to plummet. In recent years, those in the print medium have looked to online strategies to boost sales, and the “pay-as-you-read” model is the latest venture for print media to cash in online.

According to DMNews, The Financial Times (FT) is considering this strategy, which will ask readers to pay per article, or for the amount of time they spend on the site. currently has more than 1.4 million registered users and 117,000 paying digital subscribers. Revenues from these subscribers increased 30 percent from this time last year.

“The reasoning behind this new offering is to give our customers flexible opportunities in how they consume the FT,” said Greg Zorthian, president of the Americas and global circulation director for the Financial Times. The new system is expected to take effect within the next 12 months.

More than 35.9 percent of U.S. Internet users (about 70 million people) visited a newspaper Web site in June, a 7-percent increase from June 2008, according to DMNews. The Wall Street Journal already operates a partial pay-wall and all of News Corp.’s newspaper sites are expected to have pay-walls by next summer.

The Economist, meanwhile, is allowing readers to place single-copy orders online or by text message. Each order is available for next-day delivery.

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