The Winnipeg Free Press launched a new pay-per-article subscription model for its online content in the spring of 2015. This unique micropayment-based paywall, the first of its kind in North America, has been a resounding success for the daily paper, according to a new INMA blog post by Christian Panson, vice president/digital at the Winnipeg Free Press.
Panson describes in detail how a redesigned website, personalized content recommendation engine and flexible payment program have helped the paper improve audience retention and engagement. Free Press readers are spending more time on the site and the amount of content read by site visitors has increased by an average of 87%.
The pay-as-you-go system also allows the newsroom to better understand audience behaviour. Not only does it give the newspaper insightful analytics into what sort of content is most interesting, and perhaps most lucrative, but its success proves that audiences are willing to invest in news on digital platforms.