Paywalls Are Business Suicide: Guardian Australia Boss

Paywalls Are Business Suicide: Guardian Australia Boss
SHARE
THIS



“I’m not saying paywalls are universally wrong,” said managing director Ian McClelland of the local edition of The Guardian, “But if you’re a general news operation, I think it’s a suicidal business model.”

The potential introduction of a paywall was a topic of discussion during a press briefing to mark the opening of The Guardian’s new Sydney offices.

McClelland discussed the reason why digital paywalls, adopted by competitors, would not be adopted by the Aussie edition of the British news site.

“Allowing readers to contribute and share is fundamental to the growth of The Guardian, but it’s really hard for audiences to contribute and share if we suddenly go behind a paywall,” McClelland said.

According to editor Emily Wilson local audiences comment twice as much as their US and UK counterparts and local audiences want to engage with the journalists, get closer to the news, and have a say.

McClelland added that a paywall would discourage open participation and sharing on social media. He argued readers are more likely to participate if they aren’t denied access to the website in the first place, describing news site paywalls as “the most deflating experience ever”.

Ian Tomlinson’s death at the 2009 G20 summit protest, was used as an example for why paywalls are disruptive to the flow of news. Tomlinson was a passerby during a G-20 protest, he died after being struck by a police officer. The Guardian published exclusive footage which contradicted the original autopsy report, proving that Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by a police officer.

McClelland argued that a paywall would have discouraged the onlooker, an investment banker from New York, from contributing his video. “That video didn’t come from a Guardian subscriber…why would you bother sending a video if the result of that footage was beyond a paywall?”

Yet the glaring question remains: how will the site make its British owners any money? After all, paywalls are increasingly popular and also can be very successful. The New York Times, for example, started charging for online content in March 2011. In 2014, according to CNN, the majority of the publication’s $91.9 million revenue- 52% comes from paywall subscribers

At the moment, The Guardian relies on three main revenue streams: traditional advertising, brand partnership and consumer revenue. They are currently experimenting with masterclasses and live events. Masterclasses are a range of courses, taught by Guardian journalists as well as figureheads of the media industry, across a broad genre of media disciples from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Latest News

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban

Australia’s leading health and wellbeing brand IsoWhey has launched its latest national campaign, ‘#YouGotThis’. Created by Urban, the campaign highlights the real-life struggles Australians face on their weight management journey. A journey made easier through perseverance, and a little help from IsoWhey. The #YouGotThis campaign is IsoWhey’s biggest marketing investment to date, with executions running […]

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe

In this guest post, creative and strategy director at WE Buchan, David Coupland (pictured below), takes a look at the fallout from Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign and says what it also does is show the importance brands now play in our lives… Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Optimise Branded Keywords
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How To Optimise Branded Keywords

In this guest post, CEO of Delacon, Michael Center (pictured below) talks the value of branded keywords for marketers and offer his tips on getting the best from yours… Branded keywords are an essential part of the digital marketing strategy for many large businesses. Trading on the recognition and equity of a brand’s name, some of the country’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Expertise First, Influence Second: When Influence Is A By-Product Of Expertise

In this guest post, Taryn Williams, CEO and founder of influencer and creative talent marketplace theright.fit, explains why influence should be a by-product of success, not the foundation for it… Like any form of advertising and promotion, influencer marketing is not without its controversies. Earlier this year Australia’s Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, ordered […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience

Ford Australia has unveiled a new innovation that showcases the iconic Ford Mustang through a collaboration Facebook and Instagram. The interactive campaign invites Facebook and Instagram communities to take part in a live poll to identify Australia’s ultimate Mustang design. Targeting performance car fans, along with design lovers and image-conscious consumers, Ford and its partner […]