Global round-up: Canadian newspaper trials pay-per-story

Canada’s Winnipeg Free Press will find out whether readers are willing to pay for a single story when it launches a new paywall model later this month.

Dutch app Blendle uses a similar model, but curates content from publishers around the world. The Free Press will be the first individual masthead to price stories.

The concept, which has been dubbed “iTunes for news” in the past, has been both praised as a forward-thinking experiment and ridiculed as an unworkable concept.

Each story will cost 27 Canadian cents to read if a user doesn’t pay to subscribe.

The paper says it will consider different pricing levels, potentially based on the story’s cost of production, in the future.

PaperlinX UK arm in administration

Britain’s largest paper company, the Australian-based PaperlinX, has placed its UK operations into administration following poor financial performance.

Deloitte administrators closed 14 of the 19 production sites last week, creating nearly 700 job losses.

Falling demand for paper and thinning profit margins led to a $A28.4 million first-half loss at the start of 2015.

A strategic review into the operations of PaperlinX’s UK arm started in December, just months before former chief executive Andrew Price was replaced with an Australian, Andy Preece.

The closure of PaperlinX in the UK could affect British publishers’ sourcing of newsprint.

The company says its Australian operations are profitable and operating as usual.

NYT Now app to be made free

The New York Times will make its slimmed-down NYT Now app free to attract new subscribers to the main print product, according to the New York-based Capital website.

NYT Now currently costs around US$8 a month for a curated stream of stories from the Times. The app also features content from outside the Times, selected by editors.

The app only has around 20,000 subscribers, compared to more than 900,000 general digital subscribers.

The paper reportedly hopes that the app could attract more revenue and readers by supporting advertising and removing the subscription cost.

“It essentially becomes training wheels for younger Times readers,” media analyst Ken Doctor told Capital.

UK Telegraph editor-in-chief quits

The editor-in-chief at the British Daily Telegraph, Jason Seiken, has announced he will leave the newspaper group.

Mr Seiken has spent 18 months in the role, and according to media news website Press Gazette had moved from an editorial role into a strategic management position during his tenure.

The Daily Telegraph has not had a masthead editor since October 2013 when Tony Gallagher left the newspaper.

A former PBS digital manager, Mr Seiken was responsible for “transforming the newsroom into a dynamic, entrepreneurial culture” while editor-in-chief, according to a statement from the paper.

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