Is the SF Chronicle the Beginning of a Paywall Rollback Trend?

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By: Mathew Ingram | Gigaom

The San Francisco Chronicle appears to have decided that putting a paywall around commodity news content isn’t a great strategy and has effectively dismantled the one around its newspaper site — although the company says it will keep a subscription plan.

Anyone who follows the newspaper industry has gotten pretty used to seeing the launch of new paywalls by now, as publishers try to fight the ongoing decline of their print advertising and circulation revenue. Tuesday saw a publisher move rather sharply in the opposite direction, however, when the San Francisco Chronicle effectively removed the wall it erected around its newspaper content just four months ago — in what appears to be a tacit admission that charging for commodity news isn’t working.

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