Pacific Media Watch

1 May 2019

NZ: Herald launches premium paywall – how will it impact on other media?

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The New Zealand Herald ... the first daily newspaper in New Zealand to launch a paywall. Image: PMC screenshot

ANALYSIS: By Dr Merja Myllylahti
AUCKLAND (The Conversation/Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): New Zealand’s largest newspaper, The NZ Herald, launched its digital subscriptions today for online content, making history at the same time.

Its paywall is the first for a general newspaper in New Zealand.

Back in 2011, The NZ Herald’s parent company APN (now NZME) launched a digital-first initiative which was deemed critical for its future digital revenue. As a part of that initiative, APN was considering digital subscriptions for The NZ Herald.

READ MORE: NZ Herald’s editorial – Premium, strategy an investment in our journalism

Eight years later, this future imagined by APN bosses has arrived and will affect other players in New Zealand media.

The National Business Review, a business newspaper, has charged its readers since 2009, and digital news outlet Newsroom already charges for its premium content.

The New Zealand portfolio of Stuff, which is now owned by Australian Nine, includes digital news site Stuff, print newspapers and the community site Neighbourly. Stuff has no paywall, but The NZ Herald’s move to paid online content raises the question of whether it will follow its competitor.

My bet is that a similar move is unlikely.

Stuff has built its revenue model on e-commerce activities and is now selling broadband access, electricity and health insurance among other things.

 is co-director of the Journalism Media and Democracy (JMAD) research centre at Auckland University of Technology. This article was first published by The Conversation and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.

Read her full article here

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