Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank announced Monday plans to introduce a paywall structure in 2013. Complete details of the proposed plan have not been released, but it is in line with other Toronto outlets, such as the Globe and Mail.
What other news organization in Toronto is going to enforce a paywall? That is the question on the mind of many Torontonians, who have been used to reading the news on the Internet for free for many, many years.
Readers who headed on over to the TheStar.com on Monday morning may have been surprised (or not surprised depending on your aptitude on the business of media) to learn that the Toronto Star is going to implement a paywall, a measure that offers its visitors a paid-subscription for full access to its content.
“This move will provide a new source of revenue for the Star that will help support our ability to provide readers of both our print and online editions with the best and most comprehensive package of news and information in Canada,” wrote Cruickshank in the announcement. “Under the plan, most print subscribers to the Toronto Star will receive free full access to thestar.com’s content, wherever and however they want.”
Full aspects of the subscription have yet to be released, including the costs, how to register and what features readers can access.
The purpose of the subscription is to generate another tool of revenues, while also providing more news stories, video content and podcasts of news from across the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada and around the world.
“These additional revenues will strengthen our ability to invest in quality journalism, both in print and online, and provide the high quality of news, information and opinion that our readers throughout the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada have come to expect from the Star,” added Cruickshank. “They will also allow the Star to bolster its long-standing focus on delivering accurate local, national and international news that matters to our readers.”
The Toronto Star joins the likes of the Globe and Mail and National Post of Toronto outlets adding a paywall. In the United States, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have performed the same thing. If the Star is looking to make extra revenue, the New York Times posted its third quarter numbers, which include an 85 percent drop in profits.
Some of its readers have already commented that they will not pay for something that they can receive for free elsewhere. Google News offers hundreds of news agencies that provide the news of the day at no cost, such as the Associated Press and Reuters.