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Herald Sun paywall move comments

Mark Fletcher
March 14th, 2012 · 3 Comments

If you have a Twitter account, log on and search for Herald Sun paywall … see what the Twitterverse is saying about the move by News to put Herald Sun content behind a paywall.

Once you dismiss some of the fringe comments, there are enough other comments to suggest the move may have unintended consequences.

If the paywall is like that for The Times in London then it will certainly be frustrating and possible cost the publisher traction for good stories. Whereas with a print product a consumer can drift in and out of engagement by purchasing the odd copy, with the paywall for The Times this is not possible.

At The Times today there is a story I am interested in, but not interested enough to pay a £2 subscription to access. So I purchased the print edition. This is not entirely satisfactory as I’d now like to share the story and can’t do that easily with the print edition. It’s The Times story I’d like to share, not the version I can find from other publications.

News misses out with this scenario as do their advertisers.  Their paywall effectively blocks  recommendations from readers who used to share links. This stops a good story which they have exclusively from taking off virally. While this will not so much be an issue with the Herald Sun, it must be an issue with The Times here in the UK and The Australian back home.

Now, from a retailers perspective this could be good as people who can’t access something may well head to a newsagency to purchase a newspaper.  Time will tell.


Category: Media disruption

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Derek // Mar 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    A brief selection of tweets regarding this post for those who have no twitter

    Mark Fletcher ‏
    News Limited ignores loyal retail Herald Sun customers with its paywall pricing.

    Ryan Sheales Lots of talk about the Herald Sun’s “evil” paywall this morning.

    Not Rupert Murdoch ‏
    Endless complaints about #paywall going up on Herald Sun, mostly from elderly conservatives. Bloody mongrels…I mean, beloved readers

    The Herald Sun paywall launches today, and it may actually work.

    Kieran Fitzgerald ‏ This will be a huge success.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Ben Shepherd ‏
    hope the herald sun paywall doesn’t include supercoach

    Singer ‏ re. new paywall are breathtaking. You’d think it was the only news site online.

    Paul Montgomery ‏
    Notwithstanding my earlier support for the Herald-Sun paywall, there are a few (completely expected) bugs to iron out.

    Toby Forage ‏
    I must thank the Herald Sun for blocking me from reading Andrew Bolt’s copy with its paywall.

    Paul Montgomery ‏
    I like how there’s a starburst saying “BEST VALUE!” for the free Herald-Sun paywall option.

    Andrew Collins ‏
    1st step of herald sun paywall launched today..

    Jeremy Sear ‏
    I can’t believe the Herald Sun thinks so little of @AndrewBolt’s work that they left so much of it outside the paywall. #insult

    Sean Nicholls Tele to follow the Herald Sun on full paywall?

    RT @randallgill: @SeanNic and the Footy section is behind a free trial pay wall

    John Hanna
    Small mercies. McCrann & #LolBolt go behind the Herald Sun paywall from tomorrow.

    Zac Spitzer
    Bolt to be paywalled! WHAT HAPPENED TO FREEDOM?

    Yvonne Rice ‏The move will see the introduction of a digital subscription service, or


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Mar 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Nice work Derek.


  • 3 Steven // Mar 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Lots of comments from customers today.

    I made a point to ask them if they would pay for HS content online, and have found the vast majority would not. Most of them admit that there is much better quality reporting online for free, and the main reason they buy the Herald Sun everyday is out of habit.

    Most of the customers I talked to buy at least 3 papers a week or more.

    You do have the hard-core supporters who believe that anything besides HWT is ultra left-wing (“communist trash”), but I would be willing to bet that if the HS stopped printing tomorrow, most of these customers would buy an alternative, even at a higher cost.

    That being said, all this is just a reminder that we have to ensure our businesses can survive without papers.


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