Having had success with paid content online for many years, The American Lawyer shifted to a metered-access subscription model on June 1, shortly after rolling out a website redesign on April 24.
AmericanLawyer.com has three tiers of content. Stories that are free to read after registration are tagged with a yellow-key icon, while subscriber-only content is indicated with a red key. Free content is unmarked. With the new metered-access model, those indicators did not change, but registered users are now able to view three red-key articles before they are required to subscribe.
Jill Windwer, ALM's VP-digital media, said that while the model is being tested, “We expect to have very little free-with-registration content, so the metered access will essentially replace that tier.”
When the site redesign was being planned, “What was going to be paid and what was going to be free was top of mind,” said Kevin Vermeulen, ALM senior VP. In preparation for the change, the Am Law Daily news content, which was moving from free to paid access, was integrated into The American Lawyer's Web content management system from a previously separate platform. For additional free content, profile pages were built for the firms listed in the Am Law 200.
“Early indications are that paid readership will grow with the redesign,” Vermeulen said.