Free access is still the most common pay model for all media types, particularly for digital-born media, while hard paywalls remain extremely uncommon.
According to the Reuters Institute of Journalism
, nearly all content from digital-born outlets is free. Out of the 212 news organisations analysed across seven countries, only two digital-born/digital-only outlets operated any type of paywall, up from just one in 2017 when the study was first published.
provide more of a mix of options when it comes to paying for content, with about a third using a metered paywall and another third employing a freemium model. The study also found that the freemium model was much more common at European outlets
than American ones, with the U.S. being dominated by metered paywalls.
Overall the number of newspapers operating some type of paywall is up slightly from 2017, going from just around 64 percent of outlets to 69 percent. As different media adapts to the digital world many are now experimenting with the right mix of revenue streams for their business.