The freemium model is spreading in B2C and B2B, as are paywalls more broadly.
At a recent publishing conference, long gone were the days of impassioned debate about whether a paywall is ‘right’.
The revenue models are working for many and an over-reliance on advertising revenue has been addressed, albeit with mobile making online advertising more lucrative (and to a lesser extent, contextual, programmatic and native ads).
The original discussion seemed about more than revenue, as if the whole concept of the web was under threat. Academics were writing about the democracy of the internet and whether this would be eroded by a dearth of free news content.
Of course, it’s silly to think that ethics play any part in the discussion. Once some companies proved the ability to sell combined subscriptions and then digital only subscriptions, the bandwagon was jumped. These are businesses after all, and many had been in trouble for years.
In this post I’ll detail some examples of approaches to metered paywalls, and look at what factors influence paywall strategy.