The demise of the traditional print newspaper has been heavily highlighted in recent times, with the modern news junkie far more likely to get their fix from mobile/online versions of publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post. For these media organizations, it is evidently a foolish business practice to offer their content online for free when those who continue their preference for the print version are required to pay, so the burning question is to find an online subscription model that works.

This infographic from Colourfast identifies some of the subscription types used by leading publications. For instance, the metered model offers a set number of free articles per month before they are required to pay for further reading. Alternatively, a freemium model makes some content available for free while demanding a subscription to read other articles. When the need for online subscription was first identified in the late 1990s, many thought it wouldn’t catch on, as readers would turn their nose up at having to pay for online content. However, with calculated implementation, media organizations have shown that online subscriptions can work, especially with the concept of reading a print newspaper alien to a younger generation.

In future years, we are likely to see other forms of digital subscriptions, such as a micropayment model where subscribers only need pay for content that interests them, or a survey wall where readers can access so many articles before needing to complete a survey if they wish to keep reading.

Let’s look at the infographic below for a snapshot of the online subscription world as of 2017.

About the Author:

Chris Landry is the Managing Director of Colourfast ( ), an Ontario-based international paper and plastic card printing company.