AZCentral.Com Shake-Down: Online Content to Cost $10 a Month, Print Subscription Prices to Increase

Categories: Media, Schmedia

See also: Art Critic Richard Nilsen Leaves His Post at the Arizona Republic

See also: Arizona Republic Lays Off 30 to 40, Announces Closure of Chandler Offset Plant

azcentral money.jpg
Azcentral.com will begin charging for access to articles starting September 10.

Azcentral.com will cost $10 a month to access after September 10, the Arizona Republic reports.

Home deliveries of the print edition will no longer be possible without signing up for a digital-access package, either. Current subscribers are warned to brace themselves for increases from seven to 25 cents.

This sort of pay-to-read system has become more popular as newspapers combat plummeting retail advertising revenue and a shrinking base of subscribers. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have supposedly seen success with their "pay walls," but the concept has also been the subject of much criticism, as this link shared by the Tucson Sentinel details.


In any case, charging current subscribers and computer users will become a standard feature of the Republic and other newspapers under their parent corporation, Gannett Co. The company revealed its intentions at a February investment conference.

"Gannett projects a 25 percent increase in subscription revenue by the end of 2013, which is expected to translate into $100 million in additional earnings next year," the paper says. "Gannett's net income of $459 million in 2011 was down 22 percent from 2010. The company's revenue has dropped each year since 2006."

Dwindling profits caused employees of Arizona's biggest newspaper to be targeted in recent years for mandatory unpaid furloughs and lay-offs. In May, 24 veteran reporters and editors at the Republic left the paper as part of a Gannett-wide buy-out program.

Maybe hordes of computer users willing to pony up $120 a year will help solve the problem.

The paper had about 300,000 paid subscribers last year, and the stiff price increase on them -- assuming they don't bail in large numbers -- will be a large source of revenue from the new program. The rest depends on how many new users are willing to pay the $10 a month to view azcentral. If 100,000 people did it, the paper would be raking in an extra million a month. Not bad. And the extra clicks on the site would be attractive to potential online advertisers.

On the other hand, it's also possible that the program will cause a decrease in the current number of online viewers, which would be a turn-off for advertisers.

Casual viewers won't be totally locked out of the site after September, but they'll only be able to retrieve 20 free articles per month. More savvy surfers will find several ways to defeat the 20-article limit.


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15 comments
Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Hows it feel getting those teats milked AZC subscribers?

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

AZCENTRAL.COM can suck my dick if they think I will pay for their bs content. Their articles already suck, the only outlet that gets more negative things said about it's "writers" is Yahoo (which particularly Chris Chase drawing fire from right-wing whack jobs)

 

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

And next the Phoenix New Times will follow suit.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

So I saw this on the front page of the paper yesterday and thought to myself - what exactly am I paying for.  A quick scan of Section A showed 2 local articles and an opinion piece and about 16 articles from the AP and other sources.  I skipped to the travel section - 2 articles, both by readers, and a bunch of ads.  OK, the Local section surely should have something local, right?  Not really.

 

If I have to pay for on-line content, I'm going to subscribe to the NY Times or LA Times long before I subscribe to the Republic.

saltywench
saltywench

AZCentral.com would have to first have content worth paying for before attempting to charge people. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Now where will all the con extremists go to express their sick ideology?

interloper
interloper

Gannet should to follow the lead of the San Diego UT. Sell the Republic to a rich developer type who can afford to lose money on a "newspaper" while using it as his/her personal platform to push for publicly funded projects that will benefit her/his more profitable businesses. That is a model that fits Arizona perfectly.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @LegitQuestions I would rather get a good paper, like the Philly Inquirer delivered since their sports is ranked #1 every year for the most part. May Don Bolles not be disturbed by the shadow of his former paper.

 

nonaste
nonaste

 @shadeaux14 Lol.  I'll miss arguing with them because I sure as hell aint paying 10 bucks for that online edition.  I canceled the hard copy edition years ago because it is crap.  F*** Gannett, greedy bastards.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @shadeaux14 lol I don't know, yahoo? (I mean they are already there. If any article mentions Joke there are a million people like some of the Joke's fans on here. I think they spawn 12 accounts just to make everyone think the loud vocal minority is bigger than it actually is.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @matt.hendley true, I hate him as well honestly. He can't write a coherent sentence to save his life. However I don't attack him for being a liberal. 

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