Many news organizations have integrated their services to the Internet with websites connecting users to news stories. Those organizations have also offered their services to mobile applications, hoping to further expand their services to users. However, these organizations still need to turn a profit, and the click on a link doesn’t mean a penny in the pocket. With that said, organizations like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have set-up a form of security to certain exclusive stories called paywalls. Paywalls act as a firewall blocking users from accessing stories online unless they have a paid subscription to the website.
So is this just another way for big corporations to be mean to users of the Web, or is it simply a business strategy? It’s definitely business decision, and an ethical one at that. As stated before, a dollar isn’t made every time someone clicks on a story so it’s difficult to make money for a news organization on the Web. Paywalls are another way for news organizations to make money online besides constant advertisements. In a way, it’s the same as subscribing to a print paper but with more accessibility. The website for The New York Times even offers a joint deal where a user can subscribe for both online access to current and old editions of the paper, along with a print subscription. The user gets online access to the paper while the organization earns a new subscriber in 2 different forms of media.
It may seem mean to pay for access to the news, but if news organizations want to continue, they have to be financially sound. This is another way for organizations to earn money while tending to the new trends and technology of users. At least it’s not like the subscription comes with constant spam emails or annoying catalogues.