Reinventing the business model for local newspapers by building walls
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Media Business Studies, 2018, 15 (1), 24-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/16522354.2018.1445160
Using a business model lens, we analyse local newspapers’ paywall strategies and ask how monetisation has affected the newspapers’ offerings to users and advertisers. Based on interviews with 20 local newspapers in Norway, findings suggest that paywalls represent two different strategies: A brake strategy in the user market, whereby the newspaper targets existing customers with bundled and differentiated products to secure subscription revenue and protect print from web cannibalisation. In addition, an acceleration strategy, in the advertiser market, focused on improving services with more relevant and valuable audiences and user behaviour insights from user data harvesting. Local newspapers have been relatively successful with balancing these two strategies, providing some optimism on paywalls’ potential contribution to the funding of local journalism.