Up go the paywalls: Fairfax launches digital subscription models

Up go the paywalls: Fairfax launches digital subscription models

Fairfax has launched its paywalls in response to digital news consumption detracting from the printed papers.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites launched freemium and subscription models. The Herald’s editor in chief, Sean Aylmer (pictured), today wrote that the paywalls were being introduced for the publication to be able to continue its work of “producing quality journalism in Australia for more than 180 years.”

Fairfax users will be able to view 30 articles a month for free before being asked to subscribe. While the mobile sites and website will allow readers a meter limit of 30 articles per month, the iPad and Android apps will use a freemium model that will allow unlimited access to articles in the free sections, while others will be accessible only to paying subscribers.

Print subscribers who receive the paper for two or more days a week will receive full digital access.

The publisher has established five subscription packages.

  • Web Access: $1 for the first month, then $15 a month ongoing;
  • Tablet App Access: $0 for the first month, then $21.99 a month ongoing;
  • All Digital Access (websites and tablet): $1 for the first month, then $25 a month ongoing;
  • All Digital Access + Weekend newspaper delivery: $1 for the first month, then $25 a month ongoing;
  • All Digital Access + 7 day newspaper delivery: $1 for the first month, then $44 a month.

News Limitied which produces The Telegraph has launched News+ as its subscription model. 

In contrast to Fairfax's tiered model, News Ltd offers full digital access complemented by home-delivered printed editions.  

News+ will offer full digital access across desktop, tablet and mobile, costing subscribers $1 for the first 28 days and $4 a week ongoing.

The publishing house asks;

  • News+ Full Digital access on desktop, tablet and mobile: $1 for the first 28 days, then $4 a week ongoing
  • News+ Full Access & Sunday home delivery: $1 for first 28 days then $4.50 a week
  • News+ Full Access & Weekend home delivery: $5 for first 28 days then $5.50 a week
  • News+ Full Access & 7-day home delivery: $10 for first 28 days then $9 week thereafter  

The subscription models join an international move towards paid subscriptions to counter the decline of printed news.