Once upon a time, just about everything on the Internet was free. News sites published all their content online, and many people visited those sites instead of reading newspapers or news magazines any longer. Naturally, this state of affairs couldn’t last forever, and increasingly, sites offer only a little content for free and hide the rest behind a paywall. While it’s understandable that these companies need to continue to generate revenue, it’s a change that can be frustrating for the customer who’s been accustomed to getting the same material for free.
Paywalls are still in their infancy, however, and whether they end up being viable remains to be seen. One difficulty sites may encounter is the fact that there is so much similar content online. There’s a danger that people may simply get their news from a different site for free. This may force sites to provide higher-quality, unique content so that subscribers will have a reason to stay loyal.
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