According to the analog publishing industries, paywalls have been around for a long time now in the mode of subscriptions. An individual has to first complete a subscription before gaining regular access to any updated articles or contents of print products; it is pretty much the same thing as paying before picking your morning newspaper at your favorite newspaper stand. Way before all these developments came to be, ads, retail sales, and subscriptions were the major source of funding for journals, newspapers, and magazines and they continue to finance such print to date but to a lesser extent. More than ever before, publishers have embraced this type of payment model for online media.
During the early 2000s, large amounts of digital content sourced from online newspapers were free but today, one can hardly miss noticing the decrease of revenue generated through retail sales and print subscriptions even with the increase in the journalistic offering. During the mid-2010s, the number of readers buying newspapers and magazines from physical stores gradually started to fall; why was this the case? The major reason was the internet became increasingly vital for gathering information. From then on, print versions of several newspapers were rarely bought.
Research shows that most people access journalistic content online. Therefore, it means a shift for publishers as well so that they get ways to monetize their work online. Paywalls have become a standard practice in the US and the EU countries; in the US for example, 48 percent of media outlets have a paywall — a 10 percent increase since 2017.
Types of paywalls
There are different types of paywalls that publishers can choose from to offer their customers a wide range of digital subscription offers. Some types are hardly noticeable so the readers won’t even think of them as paywalls while other types are hard payment barriers which no one can workaround.
1. Hard paywall
In this type of paywall, a portion of web content remains closed for non-subscribers. Anyone who doesn’t complete digital subscriptions availed by the provider is…