INM postpones paywall to focus on mobile

Media group’s digital strategy “evolves”

Independent News & Media chairman Leslie Buckley and Vincent Crowley, group chief executive officer, at the INM annual report in Dublin last month.  photograph: dara mac dónaill

Independent News & Media chairman Leslie Buckley and Vincent Crowley, group chief executive officer, at the INM annual report in Dublin last month. photograph: dara mac dónaill

 

Independent News & Media no longer plans to introduce a “leaky” paywall on Independent.ie by the end of 2013, the company has indicated.

INM said its digital strategy “has been evolving and will continue to evolve” following what it called “the dramatic upsurge” in the number of unique users and page impressions on the site in the past year.

A spokesman for INM said the growth in traffic has been “more significant than anticipated” and that it would first examine ways of securing digital revenue streams from “lower hanging fruit” such as mobile.

He added that the monetisation of content – including a “leaky” or metered paywall – remained part of INM’s digital strategy, but the company has decided to concentrate on developing its range of mobile apps before pressing ahead with the implementation of a paywall on its main site.

The media group said a “range of mobile and online initiatives” would be introduced “from the end of this year”.

Strategy shift
This marks a shift in the media group’s strategy since late August, when chief executive Vincent Crowley told journalists at a company results briefing that INM planned to introduce a “leaky” paywall by the end of 2013, but had not yet finalised a payment structure.

Metered paywalls are designed so that news groups can still capture the benefits of casual traffic to their website, with only users who try to access more than a certain number of items a month told they must subscribe to view the content.

However, some media groups have decided to shun paywalls altogether and concentrate on expanding the reach of their sites, publishing high volumes of mass-market content in a bid to maximise online advertising revenues.