What is a paywall?
Paywalls come in two forms: Hard and Soft.
- Hard paywall is when you go to a site and other than looking at a ‘landing page’, you must pay immediately for access to the website. We made a business decision NOT to go that route. Our loyal readers and community deserve more from The Courier than that.
- Soft paywall is when you allow access to the website for a metered number of visits in a specified amount of time. In our case, it is 7 visits in a thirty day period. However, areas like breaking news, classifieds and much more will remain in front of the paywall as a service to our community.
Why charge for content?
Paywalls exists because the number of digital readers has dramatically increased. This shift from print to digital requires additional resources to update, develop and maintain our digital products. Additionally, the website includes extra features not available in print. As a company we must adjust to industry trends like so many other publications already have.
- Findlay Publishing Company made the initial decision to charge for content with the addition of the e-Courier to our product line in 2010. The e-Courier is an exact duplicate of each day’s paper, available on line by 5 am. Subscribers to the e-courier receive many ‘perks’ that readers of thecourier.com do not have but do not receive the in paper inserts. Dual subscribers to the print product and the e-Courier receive all of the perks of the digital, plus daily delivery of The Courier, including the inserts.
- The second business decision was made in April of 2012 when we initiated a paywall on thecourier.com. The website has matured since it was first put on line free, about 20 years ago. Taking advantage of the exploding advancement in technology over the years, thecourier.com regularly has added many features like video, social media, breaking news and so much more. We have invested time, talent and money to continually update and provide what our readers were clamoring for – more news, more photos, more sports, more videos and on more devices. Clearly our readers have designed this exceptional stand along product and have determined the price value thru their subscriptions.
- The third business decision was made in the fall of 2013 to launch membership and loyalty options for our products: print, e-Courier, thecourier.com and mobile apps.. Readers now can receive all four products at one price, make one payment to one company and provide multiple delivery methods based on the preferences of our readers. In addition, we have expanded the loyalty program to include all members and provide local coupons that can be downloaded and used at participating locations. National coupons are also available now.