Chittum: Patrick Pexton's paywall analysis was leaky


Ryan Chittum is not impressed with Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton's Sunday column about why The Washington Post is not planning a paywall anytime soon. Pexton made several key errors in analyzing the The New York Times' paywall, Chittum writes, including comparing nine months' worth of paywall revenue to 12 months' worth of advertising losses. If he had compared the same period, Chittum writes, he would've seen that the paywall brought in more money than ad revenue dropped.

Chittum also pooh-poohs the stock Pexton places in the Post's Facebook app as a potential revenue source:

I’ve been hearing this logic from the free crowd for more than a decade and it still hasn’t happened. It’s not going to either, regardless of how many powwows Post brass has with the folks who are smarter than they are and who make their money on other people’s content.

Not to mention: That Facebook app is annoying. Or to put a finer point on it, as Poynter's Jeff Sonderman did: "If everything is shared automatically, nothing has significance."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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