The Meter vs. The Paywall The Metered Model Casual readers can read X articles for free each month engaged readers subscribe to read more than that. Casual users sample content and become more engaged over time. Page views drop slightly and then recover unique visitors remain steady in most cases. Ad revenue is generally unaffected. Publishers make data-driven decisions about the meter limit over time, optimizing traffic and revenue. The Paywall Model Content is blocked for all users, even casual ones who are highly unlikely to subscribe for access. Casual users never visit the site nearly all engaged readers leave. Search and social rankings plummet Traffic drops 80-90% and digital advertising revenue disappears. Lack of sampling removes opportunity to entice new readers to the brand. Editors agonize daily over which content to put “behind” the paywall.
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