Peter C. Beller combined News & Tech’s list of newspapers that charge for online access with circulation figures to get a bird’s-eye view of which newspapers are building paywalls. About 16 percent of daily papers now charge for online access, but that covers twice as many readers, he says:
While just 239 of the nation’s 1,532 dailies have (or have announced) paywalls, they represent around a third of all daily readers. That’s because of the 20 largest newspapers by circulation, nine are or will be behind paywalls, representing 51% of that readership.
Paywall implementation drops off for smaller papers:
Under 100,000 circulation only 21% of readers are affected, under 50,000 the share is 19% and under 25,000 the figure is just 16%. You might be inclined to shrug off the small newspapers in that last group but they are the bulk of the industry: two out of three daily newspapers have circulations under 25,000.
He concludes that “nearly all the biggest newspaper chains are on board,” which correlates with what I found in May. Once the Chicago Tribune starts charging for online access, 84 percent of its print circulation will have a corresponding paywall; that figure is just 12 percent for MediaNews.
Related: Oil City Derrick releases monthly paywall revenues to show pattern | Gannett expands paywalls to 10 more papers in Wisconsin (Dane 101) | More than 22,000 sign up for Chicago Tribune’s paywall in three days (Time Out Chicago)
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