My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: The Jamaica Gleaner’s US$9.99 Paywall goes live on Thursday January 2nd 2014 - News is no longer free as Tomorrow Never Dies for The Paper Man

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Jamaica Gleaner’s US$9.99 Paywall goes live on Thursday January 2nd 2014 - News is no longer free as Tomorrow Never Dies for The Paper Man

Its official folks!

The Jamaica Gleaner’s Website is putting up a Paywall, which means in layman’s terms that the news is no longer free as reported by no more accurate a source than the Horse’s mouth in the article “Gleaner Introduces Subscription Charges For Online Access”, Published Sunday December 29, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.  Traditional Media is starting to have problems as predicted in my blog article entitled “Traditional News Media vs Broadband Telecoms - GigaOM's Avoiding ELE After Deep Impact”!

And yes, folks, I’m still in shock albeit I'd expected this eventual march towards a Cloud-Based Gleaner as they placed more emphasis on monetizing their website as I’d predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Jamaica Gleaner now has Cloud Based Games on its website”.

The Paywall kicks into effect at 12 midnight on Thursday December 2nd 2013. I’d learned about it while perusing The Jamaica Gleaner Twitter feed @JamaicaGleaner and bumped into this:
And if that’s not self explanatory, I’ll drop in a short one by reading The Jamaica Gleaner's FAQ (Frequently asked Questions) on their Paywall. You’ll need to pay US$9.99 (basically JA$1000) every thirty (30) days to continue reading The Jamaica Gleaner online. This starts Thursday January 2nd 2014. So gear up dear reader; Time to back out your Scotia VISA Debit Card of CIBC FirstCaribbean VISA Debit Card!

The Jamaica Gleaner will start the ball rolling with a special introductory rate of US$4.99 (basically half price of JA$500) in the New Year just in time for everyone who avoids paying for the physical Newspaper and likes to read it for free.

The Gleaner’s Paywall – Traffic means money for Double Work online

How can they tell when you're reading the newspaper?

Cookies will be enabled on The Jamaica Gleaner website to track when you open a Newspaper article on The Jamaica Gleaner. Additionally, most subscribers to The Jamaica Gleaner normally log into Facebook or Twitter while reading the Newspaper; The Jamaica Gleaner can track your clicks that way as well.

Finally, like yours truly, many already subscribe to Email version of the Newspaper, so they’ll have me on their list as a reader making it easier for them to suggest the added benefits of the Paywall to me via my email. After all, that’s how I found out about it; clicking a link in my email then heading over to my Twitter feed to register my complaint.

But fret not dear reader; the following content on The Jamaica Gleaner will still be free along with fifteen (15) articles every thirty (30) days starting tomorrow:

1.      Latest News
2.      Galleries
3.      Cartoons
4.      Videos
5.      Puzzles

Why a paywall – Traditional Media is losing money as smartphones and Tablets proliferate

First off the bat, The Jamaica Gleaner needs to implement a Paywall as they’re losing money! Plain and simple, as albeit the Journalists are doing double work, printing as well as publishing online, the website revenue stream from Google Ads barely pays for Web Hosting muchless revenue or even financial compensation to Journalists and Photographers whose content makes The Jamaica Gleaner pop!

Jamaicans just aren’t buying as many Newspapers subscriptions as they used to. By Subscriptions I’m referring to buying Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly packages of Newspapers, the REAL #BreadandButter of any Newspaper, the rough equivalent of Postpaid in the Telecoms World. So yes, Traditional Media is REALLY having problems as predicted in my blog article entitled “Traditional News Media vs Broadband Telecoms - GigaOM's Avoiding ELE After Deep Impact”!

Not Newspapers sold on the street; that’s the equivalent of Prepaid in the Telecoms World and isn’t a moneymaker despite what Telecom Provider Digicel says. Evidence of this can be seen from their recent push into Postpaid for Smartphones as reported in my blog article entitled “Digicel Upgrades Smart and Value Postpaid Plans to Smart Postpaid Plans geared towards smartphones - More helpings of Data and International Calling Bundles is How I Live Now”.

Further evidence is also provided by Telecom Provider Digicel’s introduction of DigiHome in a thrust towards Landline customers who may want to jump ship after MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and LNP (Landline Number Portability) kicks in by March 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel rolls out DigiHome, their first Residential Postpaid Fixed Line Service - Ramp up for Landline Number Portability and LIME’s Homefone XPress”.  

Clearly Postpaid Subscribers are more profitable than Prepaid customers; they’re a steady Stream of income! The Jamaica Gleaner merely following a global Trend; as more people get their news online via smartphones and Tablets, traffic to their Website increases as predicted in my blog article entitled “The Future of the Humble Newspaper in Jamaica” and “Digicel, Samsung Galaxy Tablets and Newspapers - Tomorrow Never Dies and the Paper Man”.

It’s not being monetized, as Advertisements barely pay for Web hosting. With Reduced subscriptions, most Newspapers the World over now exist merely as a Websites in some cases with no physical Paper version; some have even gone completely Tablet oriented.

The Daily Telegraph – UK’s First Paywall Reaps success and is The Jamaica Gleaner’s Inspiration

The Jamaica Gleaner is thus faced with a no-choice situation; Paywall or die like so many bigger Newspaper in the US and the World over as Millennials (ages 18 to 28) and Generation X (ages 29 to 45) opt for Social Media over Traditional Media on their Apple iPhones and Tablets in one hand and cups of Coffee in the other.

Note when The Jamaica Gleaner paywall goes up, you can still read fifteen (15) articles and some content free; after that you have to pay up as per their The Jamaica Gleaner's FAQ (Frequently asked Questions) on their Paywall!

The Daily Telegraph in the UK (United Kingdom) audited Results provides some inspiration due to the positive results of success of their Paywall launched in November 2012 as stated in the article “Daily Telegraph's Paywall model reaps success - Website traffic increases, print sales decline slower than other Newspapers”, Published Thursday December 19, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Their Paywall is the exact same metered model that The Jamaica Gleaner is pursuing, with readers being allowed to read 10 articles for free then get asked to subscribe with their Credit or Prepaid Debit Cards. The raw audited statistical numbers tell the positive result of this blog step by The Daily Telegraph and what it’ll mean for The Jamaica Gleaner when their Paywall goes live:

1.      29.8% increase in Year on Year Overall Traffic of 3,041,594
2.      54 million Monthly browsers
3.      16% increase in unique browsers representing 2.73 million subscribers per day in June 2013 when compared to June 2013
4.      3.86% reduction in Printed Newspaper sales representing 558,817 copies in July 2013 when compared to July 2012

If you’re thinking they’ll be a backlash think again. The New Hampshire based Concord Monitor went Paywall in May 2011 and a year later has 90% of its subscriber base paying US$0.17 per week or US$17 per year and projected revenues of US$25,000 per annum, not inclusive of advertising revenue as noted in “Paywall drives Newspaper revenue after initial backlash”, published Friday November 15, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Paywall coming Thursday January 2nd 2014 – The Jamaica Observer Paywall is inevitable

Clearly they’re benefitting, as not only are they making revenue but even the rate of decline of the subscriber based of the printed Newspaper is slowing, an indication that reading the online Newspaper via a Paywall usually inspires readers to get the physical copy, myself as example with The Jamaica Sunday Gleaner; I read it online then get the physical copy to see the Classifieds, the main part of the Newspaper that Jamaicans are willing to spend their JA$120 to purchase.

Time to back out your Scotia VISA Debit Card of CIBC FirstCaribbean VISA Debit Card or even better, put some of that money you earned on your Payoneer MasterCard Debit Card writing online as described in my blog article entitled “Payoneer, the US based Prepaid MasterCard Debit Card - How E-Commerce MSME's, Online workers and Reggae or Dancehall Artiste can receive money via Paypal and spend it in Jamaica” to work!

This is the first thing you’ll see when you get in to the office tomorrow folks! And in case you’re thinking of defecting to The Jamaica Observer, don’t. They’ll soon have a Paywall up soon as well… Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) for The Paper Man (1990)

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