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FACTSHEET – Pay Models for Online News in the US and Europe: 2019 Update

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[Authors: Felix M. Simon and Lucas Graves]

Introduction

As legacy news revenues continue to decline, and with the lion’s share of digital advertising revenues claimed by large technology companies, pay models have become an increasingly important part of the business of digital news. Digital advertising remains a key source of income; as Newman’s (2019) survey of news executives finds, 81% of respondents say that it is still the most important revenue focus, followed by subscriptions (78%), native advertising (75%) and various other sources of revenue. Nevertheless, subscriptions are a key priority for the news industry going forward, with over half (52%) of the executives expecting this to be the main revenue focus in 2019.

In April 2017, RISJ analysed the adoption of three dominant forms of pay models – freemium, metered paywalls, and hard paywalls – across leading news organisations in six European markets: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom (Cornia et al. 2017). This factsheet offers an update to our original analysis based on the same sample of news organisations, in order to understand how the landscape has developed over the last two years. We also expand the original sample to include data from the United States for 2017 and 2019, given its importance as both an early testing ground for pay models in news and as a major media market.

Overall Findings and Differences by Sector

The analysis presented here is based on examining the online offerings of more than 200 leadings news organisations across the seven markets. (See detailed methodology and sample at the end of this factsheet.) As in 2017, we collected data from four broad categories of outlets: daily newspapers (up-market, tabloid/mid-market, business, and regional), weekly newspapers and news magazines, TV news (commercial and public service media), and digital-born news outlets. We sorted pay models into three categories: hard paywalls, where no content is accessible for free at all; ‘freemium’ models made up of a mix of free and premium content; and metered paywalls, which allow access to a limited number of free articles each month.1

Based on an examination of 212 of the most important news organisations in these seven countries, we find that:

  • 69% of the newspapers in our sample operate some kind of a pay model today, a small increase from 64.5% in 2017. Hard paywalls are extremely rare, with the landscape evenly divided between freemium models and metered paywalls (33% each).
  • Just over half of weekly newspapers and news magazines (52%) operate a pay model, down 10 percentage points from 2017. Freemium models are the most widely used, followed by metered paywalls and hard paywalls.
  • Just as in 2017, all broadcasters continue to offer free access to their digital news in 2019. This includes private sector broadcasters as well as public service media like the BBC in the UK or Yle in Finland.
  • Almost all digital-born news outlets (94%) across the seven countries offer free access to their news. Mediapart in France and the Independent in the UK2 are the only digital-born/digital-only organisations in our sample that operate a paywall, up one from 2017.
  • Looking only at those news organisations that operate a pay model, the average price for the cheapest available monthly subscription (without discounts) in 2019 is €14.09 (£12.21), roughly similar to 2017. Prices range from as little as €2 (£1.74) to €41.50 (£36) a month. For comparison, the average price for a Netflix subscription across countries is €7.77 (£6.73). (See Table 1.)

We thus find that the trend identified two years ago persists in 2019, with newspapers across Europe and the US gradually moving away from digital news offered for free and supported primarily by display advertising. Some corners of the industry have moved even quicker: among regional newspapers in our sample, just over a quarter (27%) now offer free access to readers, down sharply from 36% in 2017. This shift is in line with other research (Cornia et al. 2016) showing that many newspapers and news magazines are cultivating a wider range of revenue sources – not just various pay models but also native advertising, e-commerce, events, etc.

Figure 1. Pay models across media types (all countries)

This shift is not mirrored across the rest of the industry, however. Overall, more than half of the news organisations in our sample – 53% of the 212 outlets across seven countries – continue to offer free access to digital news. This includes digital-born news media (94%), most tabloid newspapers (73%), and all private sector broadcasters and public service media we examined. (See Figure 1 and Tables 2–4 for details.) The continued dominance of free access among digital-born outlets is especially noteworthy given the industry attention to a few organisations that are building their business around paying members/subscribers, such as France’s Mediapart or (beyond our sample) De Correspondent in the Netherlands and the US and Republik.ch in Switzerland (Nicholls et al. 2016).

Country Differences

The six European countries we cover represent a wide range of media systems, including countries with a history of strong private sector and public service media as well as countries with historically weaker private sector media and less well-funded and widely used public service media. The European markets also differ in terms of overall market size, levels of advertising expenditure, and the degree of direct competition they face from international content. Meanwhile, the United States is by far the largest media market in the sample, marked by a strong, highly competitive private sector and relatively weak public service media.

Comparing results across Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the US, we find interesting differences (see Figure 2 and Tables 4 and 5 for details):

  • A majority of top newspapers and news weeklies in Finland, France, Germany, Poland, and the United States have adopted pay models.
  • By contrast, in both Italy and the United Kingdom, most major newspapers and weeklies continue to offer free access to their digital news. These are very competitive markets where even leading titles may fear losing market share if they implement pay models.
  • Monthly prices vary dramatically across titles and countries (see Figure 2). Looking specifically at newspapers and weeklies, Poland has the lowest average monthly price at €9.27 (£8.04). The UK has the lowest percentage of newspapers and weeklies with pay models (33%) but the highest average monthly price at €17.45 (£15.12), peaking at €41.50 (£36) for the Financial Times.
  • Prices vary by model. Metered models average at €15.46 (£13.40) across all countries and range from €10.95 in the US to €19.75 in Germany. Freemium models are on average cheaper at €11.84 (£10.26), running from €8.10 (£7.02) in the UK to €14.49 (£12.56) in France. The prices for content on websites with hard paywalls vary the most, with average prices between €8.48 (£7.35) per month in Poland and €35.83 (£31.06) in the UK (see Table 1).
  • Prices also vary by market orientation, with clear differences among business, up-market, regional, and tabloid papers. Business newspapers are unsurprisingly the most expensive, with an average monthly price of €28.32 (£24.55) across the seven countries. They are also the only category which consistently has had pay models in place in both 2017 and 2019.
  • Finally, the United States has seen a sharper rise in paywalls than the EU. Some 48% of US outlets in our sample have a paywall, compared to 38% in 2017, a 10 percentage point increase in just two years. This increase stems exclusively from newspapers, of which 76% have a pay model in place in 2019, up 16 percentage points from 2017. During the same period, the number of paywalls across the sample of media from EU countries covered here has stayed nearly flat, rising just one percentage point to 46% in 2019.

Figure 2. Average monthly price across countries (newspapers plus weekly newspapers and news magazines with pay model only)

As in the original report, we found that the content and services offered vary as much as the pay models and prices themselves.3 For instance, many Finnish newspapers use a hybrid paywall model (a combination of a monthly page view limit and some premium content). The US is dominated by metered paywall solutions (see also Steffens 2018). While freemium models abound in Poland and are present across Europe, we did not find one instance in our sample in the US. Some news organisations include in their minimum price offer only access to their news on the websites, whereas others opt to charge more and also offer other services (e.g. the digital version of the printed newspaper, mobile apps for subscribers, archive access, newsletters). It also has to be noted that news organisations that offer free access might, in a few cases, ask for other forms of compensation. For instance, both the UK’s The Guardian and Germany’s die tageszeitung (taz) offer readers the option to donate and to become voluntary supporters.

Summary

In many ways, 2018 has been a difficult year for legacy media companies, especially newspapers; print revenue has continued to decline with digital unable to make up the difference. In this climate, we are seeing a strategic split: as many publishers (particularly in complex and fragmented markets) continue to offer online news for free, much of the industry is making a renewed push to implement pay models as well as membership and donation models (Newman et al. 2018). As Newman’s (2019) survey of news executives finds, subscription and membership is the key priority for the news industry going forward. Over half (52%) expect this to be the main revenue focus in 2019, compared with just 27% for display advertising, 8% for native advertising and 7% for donations.

Recent surveys give reason to be cautiously optimistic about this approach. As the Digital News Report 2018 notes, the number of people paying for news is slowly growing and, across countries, the future likelihood to pay has increased amongst those who are not already paying (Newman et al. 2018). Yet this growth is, in most cases, still incremental and reader revenues, though growing as well, rarely make up for declining legacy revenues and an increasingly difficult digital advertising market. This outlook has not significantly changed since our last factsheet in 2017.

Overall, we can draw the following conclusions from these findings:

  • Paywalls are likely here to stay. The trend identified two years ago persists in 2019, with newspapers and news magazines across Europe and the US moving away from digital news offered for free. However, growth in the US has significantly outpaced growth in the EU.
  • Nevertheless, fears about paywalls limiting the access to quality information – with all the concomitant implications for democracy – seem overblown for now. Hard paywalls are extremely rare, even among newspapers, and a majority of outlets overall (53%) remain free to access for users.
  • Pay models are not evenly distributed across countries but tied to the individual circumstances of each market. Overall, freemium and metered approaches are dominant, with hard paywalls only used by a small minority. In the US, however, freemium models do not exist.
  • Most digital-born outlets (94%) continue to provide free access to users. Given recent disruptions in this space, however, it remains an open question how long this trend will continue and whether we will see a shift to pay models over the next several years.
  • Among newspapers, regional outlets have embraced paywalls more eagerly then their up-market counterparts.

As this overview demonstrates, a growing number of news organisations across Europe and in the US are challenging the assumption that people will not pay for digital news. And, encouragingly, research suggests that some people across all age groups, including younger media users, are willing to pay for quality content and services online that they find valuable and useful (Fletcher and Nielsen 2016, Newman 2018). The challenge for news organisations now is to deliver such quality content and services, to develop products that provide the kind of user experience and convenience that people have come to expect from digital media, and to market their offers to the many who are currently not paying for journalism, but might do so in the future.

Tables

Table 1. Average prices for pay models (all outlets, all countries)

2019

Free access

Freemium (€)

Metered paywall (€)

Hard paywall (€)

Average monthly price (€)

Netflix basic subscription price (€)

N

Finland

n/a

13.89

18.77

n/a

16.14

7.99

22

France

n/a

14.49

16.25

11.00

14.91

7.99

30

Germany

n/a

13.46

19.75

n/a

14.51

7.99

31

Italy

n/a

11.66

18.62

n/a

14.45

7.99

30

Poland

n/a

9.41

12.42

8.48

9.27

7.49

29

UK

n/a

8.10

11.47

35.83

17.45

6.90

28

US

n/a

n/a

10.95

34.70

11.93

8.04

42

Total

n/a

11.84 

15.46

22.50

14.09

7.77

212

Note: In the case of a combination of a metered model and premium content, we coded the offer as ‘metered paywall’. Exchange rates and Netflix prices at 23 April 2019.

 

Table 2. Free access by outlet type

2017 (N)

2017 (%)

2019 (N)

2019 (%)

Total (N)

Up-market newspaper

10

35.71

10

35.71

28

Tabloid/mid-market newspaper

7

63.64

8

72.73

11

Business newspaper

0

0

0

0

9

Regional newspaper

27

36.49

20

27.03

74

Weekly newspapers and news magazines

8

38.10

10

47.62

21

TV

31

100

31

100

31

Digital-born

38

97.43

35

94.59

37*

Note: * 39 outlets in 2017. In the case of a combination of a metered model and premium content, we coded the offer as ‘metered paywall’. Differences to 100% for the media types are due to rounding.

 

Table 3. Distribution of pay models (all outlets, all countries)

2019

N

%

Total

212

100

Free access

113

53.30

Freemium

49

23.11

Metered paywall

44

20.75

Hard paywall

6

2.83

Has a pay model

99

46.70

Has no pay model

113

53.30 

Note: In the case of a combination of a metered model and premium content, we coded the offer as ‘metered paywall’. Differences to 100% for the media types are due to rounding.

 

Table 4. Pay models across media types (all countries)

2019

Free access (%)

Freemium (%)

Metered paywall (%)

Hard paywall (%)

Newspapers

30.65

33.06

33.06

3.23

Weekly newspapers and news magazines

47.62

33.33

14.29

4.76

TV

100

0

0

0

Digital-born

94.44

2.78

0

2.78

Total

53.30

23.11

20.75

2.83

Note: In the case of a combination of a metered model and premium content, we coded the offer as ‘metered paywall’. Differences to 100% for the media types are due to rounding.

 

Table 5. Pay models across countries (newspapers and weeklies only)

2019

Free access (%)

Freemium (%)

Metered paywall (%)

Hard paywall (%)

Average monthly price (€)

Netflix basic subscription price (€)

N

Finland

13.40

46.70

40.00

0

16.14

7.99

15

France

4.76

61.90

33.40

0

15.11

7.99

21

Germany

42.86

47.62

9.52

0

14.51

7.99

21

Italy

50.00

30.00

20.00

0

14.45

7.99

20

Poland

23.80

52.38

14.28

9.52

9.27

7.49

21

UK

66.67

5.56

16.70

11.20

17.45

6.90

18

US

32.03

0

65.51

3.45

11.93

8.04

29

Total

33.10

33.10

30.34

3.45

14.12

7.77

145

2017

Free access (%)

Freemium (%)

Metered paywall (%)

Hard paywall (%)

Average monthly price (€)

Netflix basic subscription price (€)

N

Finland

13.40

46.70

40.00

0

15.03

n/a

15

France

4.76

66.70

28.60

0

13.97

n/a

21

Germany

47.62

38.09

14.28

0

17.64

n/a

21

Italy

60.00

30.00

10.00

0

14.24

n/a

20

Poland

9.52

71.43

9.52

9.52

7.21

n/a

21

UK

66.70

5.60

16.70

11.10

22.26

n/a

18

US

44.80

0

48.28

3.45

10.60

n/a

29

Total

35.86

35.12

25.51

3.45

14.42

n/a

145

Note: In the case of a combination of a metered model and premium content, we coded the offer as ‘metered paywall’. Total may differ from 100% due to rounding. Exchange rates at 23 April 2019 and 22 September 2017 respectively.

Methodology and Sample

In total, we analysed 212 news organisations for this study, 170 in Europe and 42 in the United States. The 170 European news organisations included were first sampled in 2017 (Cornia et al. 2017) and kept for comparison in 2019.4 For each European country, our 2017 study selected:

  • 15 national and regional newspapers with the highest print circulation according to national official sources5;
  • Up to three weekly newspapers or news magazines per country based on their print circulation or reach according to national sources or the Digital News Report 2016 (Newman et al. 2016)6;
  • Up to five broadcasters – public service and commercial – based on their reach for TV news according to national official sources or the Digital News Report 2016 (ibid.)7;
  • The five digital born news websites (domestic and/or international) in a broad sense with the highest reach in each of the countries based on Comscore data for reach within the countries in January 2017.

Because national media markets differ significantly from country to country, the sample is not entirely symmetrical. To avoid leaving out individually important sites not captured by the overall sampling, we strategically added up to four additional news organisations in each country – ranging from digital-born news media like Mediapart in France to national newspapers like Die Welt or die tageszeitung (taz) in Germany – that we knew in advance are important parts of the overall media landscape and represent important examples of digital journalism, even if they would not have been selected according to reach alone.

For the 42 outlets in the United States, we relied on a study conducted by the Columbia Journalism Review in September 2017 (Stulberg 2017). The CJR’s original sample is based on a list of all daily newspapers in the US with a circulation over 100,000. Using matching Comscore data, the original authors ranked the traffic of those paper’s websites and limited the final sample to the 25 outlets with the most-visited websites. To bring the CJR’s sample in line with our methodology,8 we further added:

  • Six digital born outlets with the highest reach based on Comscore data for reach (multi-platform) in September 2017;
  • Six broadcasters – public service and commercial – based on their reach for TV news according to the Digital News Report 2018 (Newman et al. 2018);
  • Four weekly newspapers or news magazines based on the Digital News Report 2018 (ibid.).

Our sample thus includes a total of 212 of the most important news organisations across the seven countries covered, but leaves out a number of smaller news organisations, including many local and regional ones. In each country, we have coded between 22 and 42 of the most important news organisations. To code the websites, we visited each site. If a site had a paywall, we noted the type of the paywall and the monthly cost of a digital-only subscription without discounts. For each site, we determined through testing if the site had a metered paywall. The data was collected between 25 March and 22 April 2019, with a second round of random sample testing on 29 April 2019. It thus represents a snapshot of rapidly evolving markets. Exchange rates for currency conversation are from 23 April 2019 and 22 September 2017, respectively. Please see the Appendix for the full list of organisations included in our sample and more detail on each title.

References

Cornia, A., Sehl, A., Simon, F. M., Nielsen, R. K. 2017. Pay Models in European News. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Cornia, A., Sehl, A., Nielsen, R. K. 2016. Private Sector Media and Digital News. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Fletcher, R., Nielsen, R. K. 2017. ‘Paying for Online News’, Digital Journalism, 5(9), 1173–1191.

Newman, N. 2019. Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2019. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Kalogeropoulos, A., Levy, D. A., Nielsen, R. K. 2018. Digital News Report 2018. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Levy, D. A., Nielsen, R. K. 2016. Digital News Report 2016. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Nicholls, T., Shabbir, N., Nielsen, R. K. 2016. Digital-Born News Media in Europe. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Schröder, J. 2017. ‘Die große Auflagen-Analyse der Regionalzeitungen: die 78 größten Titel auf einen Blick’, Meedia, 23 Jan., meedia.de/2017/01/23/die-grosse-auflagen-analyse-der-regionalzeitungen-die-78-groessten-titel-auf-einen-blick/

Steffens, B. 2018. ‘New research indicates tight meters have won the pay model war for news websites’, RJI, 16 Feb., www.rjionline.org/stories/new-research-indicates-tight-meters-have-won-the-pay-model-war-for-news-web

Stuhlberg, A. 2017. ‘In paywall age, free content remains king for newspaper sites’, Columbia Journalism Review, 22 Sept., www.cjr.org/united_states_project/newspaper-paywalls.php

TheMediaBriefing. 2017. ‘Key takeaways from the
Europe’s Successful Paid Content Strategies report’, TheMediaBriefing, 26 Jan., www.themedia
briefing.com/analysis/key-takeaways-from-the-europes-successful-paid-content-strategies-report/

Zubayr, C., Gerhard, H. 2016. ‘Tendenzen im Zuschauerverhalten. Fernsehgewohnheiten und Fernsehreichweite im Jahr 2015’, Media-Perspektiven 3, 142–155.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful for the guidance, feedback, and support our colleagues at the Reuters Institute offered throughout the process of preparing this report, including Director Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Nic Newman, and administrative team member Alex Reid.

Published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism with the support of the Google News Initiative.

1 There are, of course, various hybrid models in between. In the case of a combination of a metered model and premium content, we coded the offer as ‘metered paywall’.

2 We consider the Independent a digital-only outlet, given that it first appeared in print and only later turned into an online-only outlet.

3 For example, some subscription packages also offered access to a digital version of the printed newspaper or customised smartphone apps for subscribers.

4The 2017 sample originally included 172 news outlets. However, both BuzzFeed and Mashable have folded in France and no longer existed at the time of coding in 2019. Other than that, the sample has remained the same. HuffPost Deutschland was still available at the time of coding but has since ceased to operate on 31 March 2019.

5 FIN: Media Audit Finland 2014; FR: Alliance pour les chiffres de la presse et des medias 2016; GER: IVW Q4/2016 (plus overview of largest regional newspapers/publishing groups on Meedia (2017)); IT: Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa, December 2016; POL: ZKDP/ABC Poland 2015; UK: ABC, January 2017. In a few cases in Germany, where publishing houses did not publish the circulation of individual newspapers, but only the aggregated circulation of several newspapers of the group, we selected the publishing group according to the circulation and only then one of their newspapers.

6 FR, GER, IT, POL: Newman et al. 2016; UK: ABC, second half of 2016. In Finland, due to the limited significanceof weeklies, they were not included in the sample.

7 FIN, FR, POL, UK: Newman et al. 2016; GER: AGF in collaboration with GfK, TV Scope, Fernsehpanel (D+EU), In Zubayr & Gerhard (2016, p. 148); Italy: AGCOM 2016.

8To identify pay models and prices for the added outlets not included in the CJR’s original 2017 study, the authors relied on extensive desk research on industry websites, amongst others Nieman Lab, Poynter, Digiday, and the CJR, as well as the Internet Archive.

 

About the authors

Felix M Simon is a journalist and researcher and currently works as a Research Assistant at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Lucas Graves is acting Director of Research and a Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

 

Published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism with the support of the Google News Initiative

Appendix

Organisations included in the study

See the main document for the sample strategy behind the sites selected. In cases where subscriptions are sold on a weekly basis, monthly prices are for four weeks.

FINLAND

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

Helsingin Sanomat

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

16.50

17.90

Maaseudun Tulevaisuus

Up-market newspaper

Free access

Freemium

n/a

13.90

Ilta-Sanomat

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Freemium

Free access

9.90

n/a

Iltalehti

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

8.90

8.90

Kauppalehti

Business newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

24.90

31.90

Aamulehti

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

15.00

17.00

Etelä-Suomen Sanomat

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.50

14.50

Huvudstadsbladet

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.99

6.90

Ilkka

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

19.00

19.00

Kaleva

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Karjalainen

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

18.00

18.00

Keskisuomalainen

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

19.62

16.90

Satakunnan Kansa

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

15.00

12.00

Savon Sanomat

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

11.10

16.90

Turun Sanomat

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

7.90

16.00

MTV

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Yle

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Uusisuomi.fi

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

verkkouutiset

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Buzzfeed.com

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

delfi

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Mashable

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

 

FRANCE

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

La Croix

Up-market newspaper*

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

17.00

11.90

Le Figaro

Up-market newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

8.90

9.99

L’Humanité

Up-market newspaper*

Freemium

Metered paywall

20.00

9.99

Liberation

Up-market newspaper*

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

8.90

8.00

Le Monde

Up-market newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

17.90

9.99

Les Echos

Business newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

17.00

36.00

Le Dauphiné Libéré

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

24.90

24.90

La Dépêche du Midi

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

9.90

19.90

Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

19.90

19.80

L’Est Républicain

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

19.00

19.00

La Montagne

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Free access

14.50

n/a

La Nouvelle République du Centre-Ouest

Regional newspaper

Free access

Metered paywall

n/a

14.99

Ouest France

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

4.99

16.99

Le Parisien

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

9.99

13.00

Le Progrés

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Metered paywall

19.90

19.90

Sud Ouest

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

9.90

9.99

Le Télégramme

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Freemium

14.99

14.99

La Voix du Nord

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Freemium

19.90

19.90

TF1 News

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

BFM TV

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

CNEWS

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

France Télévisions

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

M6 News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

L’Express

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Freemium

7.99

8.00

L’Obs

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Freemium

3.90

4.90

Le Point

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Freemium

9.90

9.99

L’Internaute

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Mediapart

Digital born, domestic*

Hard paywall

Hard paywall

11.00

11.00

Buzzfeed

Digital born, international

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

Huffington Post France

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Mashable (with France 24)

Digital born, international

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

Slate

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

* In order to avoid leaving out important sites not captured by the overall sampling, this news outlet was strategically added to the
original selection.

GERMANY

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Up-market newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

44.90

19.80

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Freemium

34.99

36.99

die tageszeitung (taz)

Up-market newspaper*

Free access

Free access/optional membership/voluntary payment option

n/a

n/a

Die Welt

Up-market newspaper*

Freemium

Freemium

9.99

9.99

BILD

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

4.99

7.99

Handelsblatt

Business newspaper*

Freemium

Metered paywall

34.99

34.99

Augsburger Allgemeine**

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Freemium

8.99

9.99

Freie Presse

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

4.99

4.50

HAZ

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

8.99

6.99

Kölner Stadtanzeiger**

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Münchner Merkur

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Nürnberger Nachrichten

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Der Westen

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Rheinische Post

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Südwest Presse

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Thüringer Allgemeine**

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

7.99

7.99

Westfälische Nachrichten**

Regional newspaper

Free access

Freemium

n/a

9.90

ARD

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

ZDF

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

ProSieben

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

RTL

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

SAT.1

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Der Focus

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Der Spiegel

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Freemium

15.60

19.99

Stern

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Die Zeit

Weekly newspaper/news magazine (added)*

Freemium

Freemium

17.60

5.00

heftig.de

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

news.de

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

t-online.de

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Buzzfeed.com

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Huffingtonpost.de

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

* In order to avoid leaving out important sites not captured by the overall sampling, this news outlet was strategically added to the
original selection.

** Inclusion based on aggregated reach.

ITALY

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

L’Avvenire

Up-market newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Il Corriere della Sera

Up-market newspaper

Freemium

Metered paywall

9.99

9.99

Il Fatto quotidiano

Up-market newspaper

Freemium

Free access

5.99

n/a

Il Giornale

Up-market newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Libero

Up-market newspaper*

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Il Manifesto

Up-market newspaper*

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

20.00

20.00

La Repubblica

Up-market newspaper

Free access

Freemium

n/a

20.00

Il Sole 24 Ore

Business newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

20.00

28.50

Il Gazzettino

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

15.99

15.99

Il Messaggero

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Metered paywall

15.99

15.99

Il Messaggero Veneto

Regional newspaper

Free access

Freemium

n/a

4.00

QN-Il Giorno

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

QN-La Nazione

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

QN-Il Resto del Carlino

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Il Secolo XIX

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

La Stampa

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

19.99

19.99

Il Tirreno

Regional newspaper

Free access

Freemium

n/a

4.00

RAI

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

La7

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

MEDIASET

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Sky Italia

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

L’Espresso

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Freemium

5.99

5.99

L’internazionale

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Panorama

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Blastingnews

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Blogo

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Citynews

Digital born, domestic*

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Diariodelweb.it

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Fanpage

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

Huffington Post Italia

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

* In order to avoid leaving out important sites not captured by the overall sampling, this news outlet was strategically added to the
original selection.

POLAND

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 (PLN)

Monthly price 2019 (PLN)

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

Gazeta Wyborcza

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

19.90

19.90

4.58

4.58

Nasz Dziennik

Up-market newspaper*

Freemium

Free access

32.20

n/a

7.41

n/a

Rzeczpospolita

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

119.00

59.00

27.37

13.57

Express Ilustrowany

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

40.00

3.43

9.20

Fakt Gazeta Codzienna

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Super Express

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Dziennik Gazeta Prawna

Business newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

97.90

97.90

22.52

22.52

Gazeta Podatkowa

Business newspaper

Freemium

Hard paywall

28.37

28.37

6.53

6.53

Puls Biznesu

Business newspaper*

Hard paywall

Metered paywall

79.00

79.00

18.17

18.17

Echo Dnia

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

40.00

3.43

9.20

Gazeta Lubuska

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

35.00

3.43

8.05

Gazeta Pomorska

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

29.00

3.43

6.67

Głos – Dziennik Pomorza

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

29.00

3.43

6.67

Polska Dziennik Bałtycki

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

40.00

3.43

9.20

Polska Dziennik Łódzki

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

40.00

3.43

9.20

Polska Dziennik Zachodni

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

8.90

40.00

2.05

9.20

Polska Głos Wielkopolski

Regional newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

14.90

40.00

3.43

9.20

TVP

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Polsat

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

TVN

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Gazeta Polska

Weekly newspaper/news magazine*

Hard paywall

Hard paywall

16.67

8.50

3.83

1.96

Newsweek Polska

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Free access

19.99

n/a

4.60

n/a

Polityka

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Freemium

18.99

18.99

4.37

4.37

Wprost

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Freemium

Free access

19.00

n/a

4.37

n/a

Interia.pl

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

niezalezna

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Onet.pl

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Pikio.pl

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Wirtualna Polska (WP.pl)

Digital born, domestic

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

* In order to avoid leaving out important sites not captured by the overall sampling, this news outlet was strategically added to the original selection.

UNITED KINGDOM

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 (£)

Monthly price 2019 (£)

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

Guardian

Up-market newspaper

Free access combined with membership

Free access combined with membership

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Daily Telegraph

Up-market newspaper

Freemium

Freemium

8.00

8.00

9.44

9.25

The Times

Up-market newspaper

Hard paywall

Hard paywall

24.00

26.00

28.31

30.06

Daily Express

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Daily Mail

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Daily Mirror

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Daily Record

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Daily Star

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

i

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Sun

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Financial Times

Business newspaper

Hard paywall

Hard paywall

46.00

36.00

54.26

41.62

Aberdeen Press & Journal

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

10.00

5.99

11.80

6.92

Express & Star

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Liverpool Echo

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Manchester Evening News

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

BBC

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Channel 4

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Channel 5

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

ITV

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Sky News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

The Economist

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

14.70

14.90

17.34

17.22

The Spectator

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

10.50

8.99

12.39

10.39

The Week

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Independent

Digital-only, domestic

Free access

Freemium

n/a

5.99

n/a

6.92

BuzzFeed

Digital-born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Huffington Post

Digital-born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Mashable

Digital-born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Slate

Digital-born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

UNITED STATES

Type of media

Pay model 2017

Pay model 2019

Monthly price 2017 ($)

Monthly price 2019 ($)

Monthly price 2017 (€)

Monthly price 2019 (€)

Los Angeles Times

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

7.96

7.96

6.66

7.08

New York Times

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

15.00

15.00

12.56

13.35

Washington Post

Up-market newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

9.99

10.00

8.36

8.90

New York Post

Mid-market/tabloid newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Wall Street Journal

Business newspaper

Hard paywall

Hard paywall

32.99

38.99

27.61

34.70

Arizona Republic

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

4.99

8.99

4.18

8.00

Boston Globe

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

15.96

27.72

13.36

24.67

The Charlotte Observer

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

12.99

12.99

10.87

11.56

Chicago Tribune

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

7.96

7.96

6.66

7.08

Dallas Morning News

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

11.96

11.96

10.01

10.64

Denver Post

Regional newspaper

Free access

Metered paywall

n/a

11.99

n/a

10.67

Detroit Free Press

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Houston Chronicle

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

9.99

9.95

8.36

8.86

Kansas City Star

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

12.99

12.99

10.87

11.56

Mercury News (San Jose)

Regional newspaper

Free access

Metered paywall

n/a

9.95

n/a

8.86

Miami Herald

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

12.99

12.99

10.87

11.56

New York Daily News

Regional newspaper

Free access

Metered paywall

n/a

7.96

n/a

7.08

Oregonian

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Orlando Sentinel

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

7.96

7.96

6.66

7.08

Philadelphia Inquirer

Regional newspaper

Free access

Metered paywall

n/a

14.00

n/a

12.46

Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Seattle Times

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

15.96

15.96

13.36

14.20

Star Ledger (NJ)

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Regional newspaper

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

15.16

15.16

12.69

13.49

Times-Picayune (NOLA)

Regional newspaper

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

ABC News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

CBS News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

CNN

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Fox News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

MSNBC News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

NBC News

Commercial TV

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

NPR News

Public service media organisation

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

The Atlantic

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

The New Yorker

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Metered paywall

Metered paywall

7.49

7.49

6.27

6.67

Newsweek

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Time Magazine

Weekly newspaper/news magazine

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

BuzzFeed News

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

HuffPost

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

MSN News

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Politico

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Vox.com

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yahoo! News

Digital born, international

Free access

Free access

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

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