A paywall acts as the guardian of your content on the web. While most readers on the internet are there for free content, a lot of netizens are ready to pay for quality news coming in through trusted sources. The ad-free experience has also gained a lot of traction in the past years as digital media took to the forefront of all consumable data. From Spotify to Wall Street journal, there are subscribers on annual plans in exchange of a premium user experience.
A paywall is a feature on your website that is placed to collect a sum of cash from readers in exchange for the content. Revenue being the end goal of publishing, it is done in very many ways. One can use paywalls to allow access to content incrementally by an exchange of value. One can offer signing up for newsletters, collect survey or agree to an ad light experience.
A digital subscription provides access to a predefined set of content on the publisher’s site. This may allow subscribers to have exclusive access to stories or website functions that the free readers do not enjoy. Some subscriptions also act as a key for premium personalized experience without any ad noise whatsoever.
This is when a website has all of its content behind a paywall. Much like we’d access newspapers back in the day, you need to pay to have your daily news. A classic example is the Wall Street Journal. If you’re new to the publishing platform, hard paywalls are not recommended. But for the media houses that have established their value to the readers, hard paywalls work well. If you put your content over a hard paywall, you can have story teasers but the entire article will only be available to the subscribers. Hard paywalls can also be implemented for niche stories This would make your content less discoverable but with good journalism, subscribers will indefinitely grow.
A metered paywall trades enough content to keep the readers hooked. This makes your content more social, a part of the story can be read for free but the rest would be behind the paywall. This works well for investigative stories and exclusive content. Many publishers have cut back on the amount of free content on their website. This model allows a steady flow of new readers into your website. The metered paywall helps them to get a good idea of your content. Publishers often charge per article with this model which later develops into monthly subscriptions.
This is a blended approach. In the publishing space, it can take a while to find the right paywall model that works for you. The hybrid model, or the dynamic model is one where you can choose which articles will be free and which ones will be over the paywall. This way the premium content can still make you the revenue you wish while not blocking off the new readers. This can help build a steady wave of regular readers who can later be convinced to become subscribers. Hybrid model also gives room for ads and surveys. You can expand your revenue channels with this model.
This is when you evaluate your readers and get them a subscription model that fits them. This takes into consideration a variety of things such as - geography, device type, browsing history, content consumption, visit behavior, subject matter, device or other metrics. Using an AI, one can predict a user’s likelihood of subscribing. They are shown subscription plans accordingly to ensure that they get a personalized experience on the website. New York Media is using this paywall model - it's smarter automation.
There are many other subscription paywall models that can be adapted. At Quintype, we encourage you to experiment with the paywall models before committing to one. We have our monetization tool - Accesstype that enables you to make the maximum revenue with the frictionless subscription for both publishers and readers. Have you tried any of these paywalls? Tell us which one you’d be interested in trying! We could help you set it up and get the right.