Gannett Putting Up Paywalls

Publisher will roll out subscription model to 80 markets this year

Gannett Co. told investors on Wednesday that the company will institute a metered subscription model for the digital version of its newspapers in 80 markets this year. The company has already begun testing the new paywall model in six markets.

Taking a page from The New York Times’ online monetization strategy, Gannett will limit non-subscribers’ digital access to between five and 15 articles per month. The subscription options and pricing available to consumers will vary by market, the company said.

The subscription model is limited to the daily newspapers that are part of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division and will not apply to USA Today.

The company forecasts the subscription model to generate $100 million annually starting next year. Acknowledging an expected negative impact on home delivery volume, Gannett said it will increase affected newspapers’ single-copy prices by 30-to-100 percent.