Friday, July 03, 2015

Out-of-country readers (yes, that means Canadians) face a Slate paywall

Slate's recently announced decision to erect a paywall for readers from anywhere outside the United States may have implications for Canadian readers of a number of otherwise free and popular U.S.-based publications (and possibly for similar decisions by Canadian publications with significant out-of-country readership.) 

The Slate Plus paywall for the daily online magazine is $5 a month or $50 a year. Metered access means casual readers can get 5 articles a month for free. The principal argument for the change, however, is that domestic U.S. advertisers are not interested in supporting international readers. Julia Turner, the editor-in-chief of Slate, explains:
Our U.S.-based sales team sells primarily to domestic advertisers, many of whom only want to reach a domestic audience. This may sound provincial, but there are decent business reasons for it: Maybe the car company buying ads on our site doesn’t sell the model it’s advertising in your country. Or maybe the marketing strategy where you live is different. Whatever you think of the logic, the fact is inescapable: Many U.S. advertisers won’t pay us to reach readers outside of the United States.
The magazine says it has no intention of launching a domestic paywall "at this point".



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