Online publishers raising subscription prices, tightening free access

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New York—Newspapers and other online media with metered subscription models are raising subscription prices and applying stricter limits on free access, according to an analysis of data aggregated from publishers using RR Donnelley's Press+ content revenue platform. Press+ shared the research at a quarterly meeting of its affiliate publishers this week. The data show that the average price paid for monthly digital subscriptions to publications using the Press+ system rose from $8.83 in July 2012 to $9.09 last month. The monthly average in July 2011 was $6.66. Publishers have rapidly adopted the metered-access subscription model, which allows website visitors to access a set number of free content pieces before being required to subscribe. They are increasingly tightening that number as they gain confidence in converting visitors to paid subscribers. The average number of free content pieces allowed has fallen from 11 in September to eight last month. Press+ also found that more than half of its publishers (57%) allow five or fewer free pieces of content a month to nonsubscribers.
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