If evidence that one solution does not fit all was needed, let’s just take a look at the online subscribers numbers in Portugal. So, you think a paywall will do?
These are the newspapers and magazines that adopted a online subscription model, none of them being too closed, we can still see most of the stories online. What else do they offer behind the wall? I honestly don’t know. Followin the number of subscribers is the number of copies sold on average in the first 6 months of 2011, except when noted.
A funny thing happened while collecting these numbers, mostly from articles on their own websites: they all boasted rises and superiority over the competition. It’s perfectly acceptable and understandable as a marketing strategy, but there’s nothing to boast about, overall sales are dropping. The last bit of information is the number of unique visitors to their website.
So, as you can see, there is a residual number of subscribers compared to the total number of newspaper buyers and unique visitors. Different markets require different strategies, and paywalls do not seem to be the solution for Portuguese media. Do you agree? Or maybe we could all make this test.