Will paywalls across Fairfax change media consumption habits?
The Age App had become my go-to news source each morning, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience delivered by this App. With the introduction of the paywall earlier this month I have found myself migrating to other sources, possibly sacrificing quality of user experience, but still consuming much the same content and still for $0. What are your experiences with media properties when paywalls are introduced?
it hasn't changed my habit. I simply delete my cookies and Fairfax thinks I'm a new user and I'm good for another 30 articles.
It's harsh because we really should be paying for quality journalism.
But the reality is that unless a title has a really defined niche, like The Economist, it's easy for readers to find similar content elsewhere, for free. That's a major disincentive to subscribe.
I also anticipate that the arrival of The Guardian Australia is the death knell for Fairfax's paywall plans. Even without that there's the ABC, which provides reasonably comprehensive and impartial news (and presumably will always do so for free, being a public service).
And for as long as Google is able to grab and republish headlines, Google News acts as a free at-a-glance aggregation of major news stories.
Personally I haven't paid for a newspaper for over nine years and I'm not about to start paying for an online version of the newspapers that I haven't felt were worth buying in that time. I'm used to getting quality reportage, on topics I want to read about, without adverts, delivered automatically to what ever device I'm using at the time (via apps such as Feedly) for free.
That said, the traditional media outlets may start picking up paid subscriptions from the late adopters moving from print to online who are used to paying for their daily news. But for how long?
I think this article makes the case quite well :
THE DEATH OF FAIRFAX AND THE END OF NEWSPAPERS: Where is the journalism we need going to come from now?
The thing is people will just source out free media with advertising. You just need to go to Google news and work out which is the free media. That been said I do think it is a bold move by Fairfax and I am sure that a percentage of people will probably pay for the media.
The change has already influenced my habits - I now open ABC.net.au instead of smh.com.au when I want the news.