Free Press Bluffing
I wrote a post the other day about being denied access to The Burlington Free Press Online because I haven’t purchased a $144 per year subscription. In the post I made a counter-offer of $20 for a year subscription. I am now rescinding the counter-offer.
Since I wrote that other post I have not purchased a subscription, but I have been enjoying Free Press content anyway. After I had supposedly used up my 10 free articles- I tried their site with a different browser and it worked for a few more. I have continued to read articles on my Blackberry free without warnings or interruptions… and guess what? If you arrive at a Free Press article from a link on Twitter- you will get it free with a little pop-off bluff- a phony admonition that “this is your last free article.” I’ve read my “last” free article at least a dozen times already this way.
They are bluffing. Charging any amount for their online content will cause the Free Press’s readership to evaporate. Perhaps they have calculated that they can’t afford not to charge for the content. They will also soon conclude (and perhaps they already have) that they cannot afford to exclude non-paying readers from it.
Adapt or die Free Press. That means all advertising and no subscription revenue. Far fewer staff and far better content. Good luck.