Simon Owens | What’s New In Publishing | February 18, 2020

There’s a third type of paywall model that’s used by a much smaller group of publishers: the hard paywall. The upside to this approach is it requires every user to be logged in, so readers can’t use various browser tricks to get around a meter. And when done well, the hard paywall can squeeze out more revenue per reader, which means you don’t need to reach massive audience scale before you start generating real revenue.

Of course, there’s a reason why most publishers don’t pursue the hard paywall model. Without allowing readers to sample content for free, it’s much more difficult to convince them to open up their wallets and hand over their credit card information. This also limits word-of-mouth marketing, given that the publisher’s content can’t be as easily spread over social media and other distribution channels.

That’s what makes The Information’s paywall success so impressive.
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