Survey Finds Publishers Have Concerns Over Paywalls Being Bypassed

By: Press Release | PRWeb

Not being able to control access to content as users bypass the paywall is a major challenge facing publishers.

This is according to new research carried out by MPP Global Solutions as part of its latest webinar on the future of digital publishing models, which found that 68 per cent of respondents are concerned about the effectiveness of their paywall.

Among the other concerns facing publishers are a lack of value for money and ROI, security risks, brand identity and inflexible functionality. With many web users recognising that by clearing their cache and cookies they can circumvent paywalls, publishers need a solution that works across all platforms and browsers.

What are the challenges with a paid strategy?

Advertising revenues are reducing steadily and paywalls offer a way to boost income. The Washington Post – one of the biggest newspapers in the US – has recently installed a paywall, following in the footsteps of UK media giant the Times. This demonstrates the increasing popularity of the measure, but finding the right paid strategy is still important.

Hardgated paywalls, where the user cannot access any news stories, seem to be less popular as they provide a lower quality experience for users. Instead, metered modular solutions – such as those offered by MPP Global – deliver much better value for money and user engagement.

With this metered system users are given a certain amount of free views and once this limit has been reached, they are offered a series of payment options designed to encourage them to sign up for a subscription.

Revenue share vs fixed rate

One option on the market at the moment is revenue share, where companies take a portion of the profits. However, this can be as high as 20 to 30 percent per transaction. This means the more successful a businesses is, the more they will have to pay to the paywall vendor, without getting any additional value.

However, a fixed rate system offers much better value for money, as for a one-off integration costs and small monthly fee publishers can benefit from a paywall that is secure and can be customised to suit the needs of any business.

Paul Johnson, Chief Executive Officer at MPP Global Solutions, said: “The results show how strongly publishers feel about this issue, as over two-thirds have legitimate concerns about the effectiveness of their paywall. With 55 percent of under-45s now reading news online, businesses need to pick a paywall that suits their needs.

“Paywalls are no longer a taboo issue and so choosing the right subscription model is crucial to the success of your paid content strategy. There are many benefits associated with using a fixed platform, as it comes with a flat rate integration followed by small monthly fee, which is much more competitive than a revenue share model where the vendor is taking a larger piece of your business the more successful your paid content strategy is.”

David Brauchli
It’s funny that MPP says that newspapers are objecting to paying paywall providers for their products. Although people complain about Apple taking a 30% cut, people realize that Apple is really very good at what it does and they provide a resource that the producer himself could never duplicate. Now and again someone goes around Apple, like the FT did with their HTML5 app, but the costs sunk into that were far and away above what a normal content producer could afford. What newspapers and magazines are paying for today are paywall providers’ their expertise and best practices. Companies like Piano Media have huge data warehouses and have been working with newspapers since paywalls became widespread in the industry. What newspapers do not have is time nor expertise to build a paywall themselves. Sure, some can do it, to wit the NYT, but most choose to partner are comfortable paying for expertise and best practices. Piano Media not only works with newspapers and magazines using a revenue share model, we also are happy to cap a newspapers’ spend by agreeing to a yearly license fee. This flexibility has garnered us a lot of customers in eastern Europe and we are now moving quickly into western Europe and are picking up a lot of interest stateside as well. Since both Piano Media and MPP agree that the online newspaper/magazine market is going to pick up in the next five years, newspapers are smart to go with a payment systems provider that can help them achieve the best results immediately and over the long term for the lowest possible fee. But nothing ever comes for free.
There is truth to the MPP findings but….
10/25/2013

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