Washington Post Paywall Goes Live On June 12th

Katherine Weymouth, Publisher of The Washington Post, announces in a letter to readers today that the paper’s paywall be active as of June 12th:

On June 12, we will begin phasing in our metered subscription model. It will take us a few weeks to get everyone into the system, but doing that will allow us to ensure that you have the best possible experience.

Once the subscription service launches, you will initially be able to view 20 pieces of content per month before being asked to subscribe. We hope you will consider subscribing even if you don’t reach the limit; a subscription will provide unlimited access to all The Post’s world-class journalism, multimedia and interactive features and more. Importantly, you will also be helping to support our newsgathering operations.

Whether or not you subscribe, we will not limit your ability to view The Post’s homepage and section front pages, watch videos or search classified advertising. In addition, readers who come to The Post through search engines or shared links will be able to access the linked page regardless of the number of articles they have previously viewed.

You can find details about subscription plans at the link.

I suppose it was inevitable. The Post remained one of the last national newspapers that doesn’t have some sort of paywall, and I’m sure we’ll see others follow suit in the future. Whether that will be enough to make up for the millions in lost ad revenue over the past 15 years or so is, of course another question.

Practically speaking, it sounds like the Post will have the same policy regarding links from Twitter, Google, Facebook, and RSS Readers that The New York Times does. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely that the paywall will have any significant impact on my ability to read articles. When linking Washington Post articles here at OTB in the future, I will endeavor to use a link that includes one of these paywall exceptions. No need for casual readers of the Post to have to pay to access it.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Media, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    Well, when the NYT went paywall I said I’d read the Post ’til they went paywall. Looks like next month I’ll finally have to abandon the Post and pay for the Times.

  2. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    One concern over paywalls is their effect on news gathering and authentication. Because of our addiction to money absent any whiff of he word “enough,” will we then extend that to say, “well, that news came from a paywall site, so it MUST be accurate?”

    Will this lead to a denigration of non-pay sites, both verbal and economic (e.g. unlinking to articles)?

    The exceptions made for news aggregators are wise. Paywalls are not effective at screening content today. Only funneling money from who believe they are getting value.