Media’s “Triple Play” Package - The Answer to Paywall Subscription Hell
In early May, TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton penned an article around the hell that is subscriptions, and more specifically, subscriptions in regards to the increasing amount of media paywalls. As mentioned in the article, Bloomberg is joining the long list of media outlets instituting paywalls – a list that already includes the likes of The New York Times, Ad Age and Business Insider, among others. While we agree with Mr. Crichton that subscription models in media are a good thing – quality journalism should be rewarded and protected – we can’t forget about the consumer. This means not only looking at the monetary value of the subscription, but also the accessibility, and ease of use, for that consumer.
One of Crichton’s ideas for fixing the subscription, and paywall, hell is to “allow subscriptions to combine together more cheaply.” Media outlets can take a page from telcos and internet providers who offer “triple play” packages – pricing packages that combine the services of different products and different fees into one payment. Luckily for them, there is a ready-made solution available for this very model. By partnering with LaterPay, media outlets could assign a set, and more reasonable, price that consumers would agree to pay to read their articles. LaterPay would in turn track the articles being read by the consumer, and then charge them when they have hit their limit. A read now, pay later, model.
There are conflicting reports, and opinions, around the effects of paywalls. While it is reported that The New York Times has seen an enormous boosts in sales since implementing their paywall, others claim that paywalls are having an adverse effect on readers. Part of this friction with readers has to do with pop-ups and visual cues that media companies have in place for when you hit your free limit for the month. How many times have you found a great article that you wanted to read, but once you get past the first paragraph you are met with the annoying pop-up reminding you that your freebies are up and it’s time to fork over the cash. Most of the time, readers will just sigh and move on to the next outlet. Maybe someone else is covering the same issue. Or perhaps you’ve reached your maximum number of subscriptions, and are essentially forced to turn down potential new ones. LaterPay’s read now, pay later, model alleviates these frustrating aspects of the paywall, and allows the reader to freely jump between different publications, and paywalls. The LaterPay method also opens up the funnel for other models, and leads users to more economical models by convenience, not force. This approach allows users to escape the proverbial subscription hell and enter media consumption heaven.