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Paywall paying off in Slovakia

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World News Publishing Focus
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Paywall paying off in Slovakia

Kostolný’s company erected a paywall on nine of its websites, including daily newspaper sites and those for its TV and radio stations.

Subscribers pay 2.90 Euros per month or 29 Euros per year. Print subscribers have access for free. The company features primarily opinion, special forms of content (graphics, illustrations, video), and in-depth features behind the wall, but most of its news content is free. SME is considering a more metered wall in the future, he says.

“We thought we would lose our readers when we started, and so far we have not lost any readers,” he says. “It is our way of showing our readers that it is worth the expense by providing quality content.”

Overall traffic increased 5 percent, he says, but there was a 20-percent dip for visits to some of the paid sections.

Still, the revenues generated, he says, are encouraging. The revenue is shared proportionately among the nine sites and in the first month the company made 40,000 Euros. “Not bad for our part of the world,” he says.

Kostolný admitted that the company is in the enviable position of practically having no competition in the region, where its digital content reaches 70 percent of the country's 5.5 million population.

He says SME considered putting some public discussion and debates behind the wall, but quickly decided against this because the company considers that audience and dialogue extremely important.

He says it is extremely important to have a straightforward way for visitors to access the content, whether it is paid-for or free.


Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper


2011-10-15 11:30

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