Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lee Online Dailies in Montana & Wyoming Erect Paywalls

The Montana StandardImage via WikipediaDavenport, Iowa-based media conglomerate Lee Enterprises has erected paywalls for six online dailies among its holdings in Montana and Wyoming, PaidContent.org reports.

Lee, which owns roughly 50 daily newspapers nationwide, has established metered payment models for online versions of The Billings Gazette, Helena Independent Record, The Missoulian, The Ravalli Republic, The Casper Star Tribune and The Montana Standard, the PaidContent article said.  The number of free views offered before visitors are asked to purchase a digital subscription and the always-free online sections varies depending on the publication.

The Billings (Mont.) Gazette, which boasts roughly 38,400 print subscribers, allows 20 articles to be viewed a month digitally before inviting print edition subscribers to pay $1.95 a month or $19.50 annually and non-subscribers $6.95 a month or $69.50 a year. In contrast, the 13,000 print circulation Helena Independent Record charges kick-in after 15 online articles and impose a subscription rate of $1.99 a month/$19.99 yearly for print subscribers and $4.99 a month/$49.99 annually for nonsubscribers.

A discouraging word may seldom be heard on the range in Montana, but if it's going to be read online, residents are going to have to pay to see it.

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