Monday, July 12, 2010

Death Be Not Free: PA Readers to Pay 'Obit o' Money"

Logo of the Intelligencer JournalImage via Wikipedia
LancasterOnline, which serves readers of the Pa. daily Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era, is the first outlet to flip the switch on the Steve Brill-backed Journalism Online paid content system.

After seven "free views" monthly of LancasterOnline's online obituary pages, non-Lancaster County readers will have to dole out $1.99 a month or $19.99 annually to find out which Pennsylvanians have gone from the Keystone State to a headstone state so to speak.  The editor of LancasterOnline anticipates as many as 100,000 readers outside of the area are visiting the obit pages annually, which could mean $100,000 to $500,000 in additional revenues, depending on the subscription rate.

New Yorkers, and residents of Harrisburg and Philadelphia constitute the largest percentage of out-of-area visitors to the website, according to the editor. The Lancaster daily boasts a Sunday readership of 95,000 and daily circulation of roughly 81,000. Subscribers of the print edition or of the e-edition of the Lancaster paper won't have to pay to peruse the online obits.

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