Harper’s Dips Its Toes into Metered Content…Gently
Magazine offering one free story per month in attempt to boost subs.
Harper’s just rolled out a metered paywall for nonsubscribers, giving them access to one free article per month.
In addition to Web-only free stories, site visitors will have access to any premium piece published since 2010. The company hopes this experiment will increase subscriptions ($45.99 annually), which includes access to Harper’s entire library of premium content—including an archive that has 165 years worth of content.
“We remain committed to the principle that high-quality journalism requires an audience willing to pay for it,” says Harper’s Magazine president and publisher John R. MacArthur in a statement. “But the metered paywall offers us a more efficient way to allow potential subscribers to get acquainted with the magazine.”
Several premium content brands like Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times have had some success with a metered paywalls, however most offer readers more content within a monthly period. Still, a conservative start like this gives Harper’s plenty of flexibility to adjust the amount of content it opens up on a monthly basis.
Harper’s is also keeping the relationship between brand and potential subscriber casual by not asking for email and demographic information, which can be later used for follow up marketing. It believes that its content and gate prompt will be enough to lead potential subscribers through the purchase funnel.