South Africa’s popular daily business newspaper Business Day recently implemented a paywall, requiring visitors to pay if they want to access more than 15 articles per month.
The Business Day paywall follows a similar decision by Media24 to put their Afrikaans newspapers – Die Burger, Beeld and Volksblad – behind paywalls.
Business Day publisher and editor-in-chief, Peter Bruce said that he doesn’t care how many people subscribe to the newspaper’s online edition.
“Basically it means nothing is for free, that’s all…that’s my bottom line. I don’t care how many people subscribe. It’s gratifying that so many have, but as long as I am not giving away content for free, I’m a happy man,” said Bruce.
He said that over the past 10 days or so, he’s found it difficult to find Business Day in his local Spar, an indication, he believes, that the paywall model is working.
Online news subscription price comparison
The following table provides an overview of how much people have to pay to access some of South Africa’s prominent news websites which have implemented a subscription service.
A few high profile international news publications were included in the comparison to give perspective on the monthly subscription charges.
|Daily newspaper digital access||Basic subscription cost||Monthly cost|
|Sunday Times + The Times||R173.30 for 3 months||R58|
|Daily Dispatch e-Edition||R180 for 3 months||R60|
|Beeld||R99 per month||R99|
|Die Burger||R99 per month||R99|
|Business Day||R1,183 for 3 months||R394|
|New York Times||$3.75 per week||R155|
|The Wall Street Journal||$22.99 per month||R219|
|Financial Times||$6.25 per week||R258|
|1 USD = 9.53 ZAR|