The free ride is over. The Miami Herald's website will most likely have a paywall erected sometime by the end of the year, meaning users may have to pay for their news.
The move follows an announcement in May by the McClatchy Company, The Herald's parent firm, that they would begin testing plans to charges fees for online articles. The Sun-Sentinel also erected its own paywall earlier this year.
The announcement comes from McClatchy's second-quarter earnings reports:
After a number of experiments and analysis on pay models, we intend to roll out a metered plan in the third quarter in five of our markets. We will offer readers a combined print and digital subscription package that will include access to web, certain mobile and replica editions for a relatively small increase to print home-delivery rates. We'll also offer online-only digital subscriptions to users after they read a certain number of pages. Once the first wave is launched, we intend to expand this model to our other markets beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
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The Herald itself reported in May that it will not be among those first five test markets, but this confirms that a paywall for the daily is imminent.
It appears that the Herald's online readers will be able to read a certain number of articles for free before reaching the paywall. That method would be similar to the one The Sun-Sentinel uses. According to traffic monitoring sites like Alexa and Quantcast, the Sun-Sentinel's overall web traffic appears to be down since it implemented the paywall in April.
[via The Pulp]