What I said, four months ago, about Opubco’s Oklahoman.com:
It’s a premium product with an actual price tag, though it costs nothing extra to us old mossbacks who pay to have the dead-tree edition tossed onto our driveways.
The idea, of course, is not so much to get more money out of the people who are already paying, but to get some money out of the people who aren’t. Oklahoman reporter Steve Lackmeyer discussed the matter on a local message board:
The Oklahoman has not gone behind a pay wall — yet. We are giving subscribers first access to what’s deemed premium content posted at www.oklahoman.com. An online subscription costs $12 a month (I am a paying subscriber myself). Not really that horrible a price. Those who don’t want to subscribe can go the corner store and pick up a copy of the paper, which has maps and other info that won’t be included with the NewsOK version. The Oklahoman is the only major newspaper in Oklahoma that hasn’t gone to a full paywall. The Journal Record has long had a paywall, ditto for the Tulsa World & Lawton Constitution. Also ditto for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Dallas Morning News. The Oklahoman’s approach, right now, is not to have a paywall, but rather to reward subscribers by giving them first access and making others wait.
“Premium content” has not yet been defined in any, um, definitive sense, but it included Lackmeyer’s own story on the still-nascent-but-already-controversial Boulevard to Downtown, which yesterday cut off after two paragraphs in classic WSJ.com style.
As an actual subscriber, I don’t have to jump through these particular hoops. I’m wondering, though, if there’s any interest in a day pass, good for 24 hours at, say, seventy-five cents, the cost of the hard-copy version.