Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Will SF Chronicle Erect Paywall or Golden Gate?

San Francisco ChronicleImage via WikipediaThe Hearst Corp-owned San Francisco Chronicle is moving closer to greeting visitors to its online edition with a paywall, according to the Bay Guardian and Medialifemagazine.com.

In contrast to the metered payment model recently introduced by The New York Times, the Chronicle is contemplating a "hard paywall" model that would charge online visitors for every article. Although the Chronicle has declined to confirm plans to charge online users, the Bay Guardian story said digital subscribers might be charged $9.99 a month. If the Hearst property follows the trend of other dailies, print edition subscribers would have free access to the online version.

Although no start-up date was mentioned by the Bay Guardian or Medialifemagazine.com, it is expected the Chronicle may introduce a paywall at the same time it debuts its iPad application, which could be as soon as the end of April.
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