Why Hearst doesn't like paywalls: Free access is 'a better strategy'
From Lucia Moses' profile of Hearst CEO Steve Swartz:
While many newspapers have turned to paywalls to offset declining ad revenue, Hearst has clung to free access. Some see this as lacking innovation, but Swartz counters that Hearst chose to place its bets on household penetration and that its free newspaper sites are profitable without paywalls. “If you put a gate on your free website, you’re giving up a powerful tool to reach the consumer, and we think that’s a better strategy than putting up a paywall,” he says.