Seattle Times will install paywall next month

The Seattle Times |

The Seattle Times will begin a digital-subscription plan in March, Times Executive Editor David Boardman told readers in a column Sunday. The plan resembles The New York Times' paywall -- print subscribers will have full access to the Times' site, and nonsubscribers will be able to access a limited number of articles before hitting the pay gate. There's a digital-only deal for $3.99/week, or for the same price you can get the Sunday paper plus full access. "The reasons for this development are simple," Boardman -- a member of Poynter's National Advisory Board -- writes.

The economics of the news business, and of the newspaper industry in particular, have changed dramatically over the past decade. More people than ever are reading our content in print and digital formats, but our primary source of revenue — advertising — is declining locally and nationally and no longer supports our costs to the degree it once did.

Linda Thomas notes that comments from readers on Boardman's column trend peevish.

Last March Hugo Kugiya assessed the online-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer, all that remains of the Times' former competitor. ”It seems to be a site trying to do things on the cheap but with no clear mission” former P-I reporter Kery Murakami told Kugiya.

Related: How the Seattle Times made an iPad book from its best photos of the year | What’s left of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer? | How Is Seattle P-I Doing, One Year Later? | New Strategy: ‘Experiment a Lot, Fail Fast’

  • 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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