Politico Takes Paywall Baby Steps with Six-State Experiment
'It's something we don't have to do but want to do.'
¬†Political journalism site Politico announced today that it's starting a limited, metered paywall experiment. Tests will begin this week in six states and internationally to see if readers will pay for the site's general content.
Iowa, North Dakota, Vermont, Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming were chosen¬† because they represent a "tiny sliver" of readers, says a note to staff.
The test is a fairly long one, lasting six months, but simple. "What we will look for with this experiment is whether or not we can bring in more revenue through paying subscribers than we lose as a result of any decline in traffic," says the note.
That's the crux of every paywall calculation, and the memo adds that the experiment represents a shift in strategic thinking, thanks largely to the growing number of content sites with established paywalls.
Here's the full release, via Dylan Byers.
The site already has a paid content service through its Politico Pro offering, which broke the 1,000 subscriber mark in March. But the staff memo indicates that this experiment is simply an effort to keep the brand's options open in case there in fact turns out to be an opportunity to sell content to the general readership.