### radionz.co.nz Sun, 20 Mar 2016 at 2:40 pm
RNZ National – Mediawatch
Will NZ’s biggest paywall plan yet pay off?
By Colin Peacock
New Zealand’s biggest locally-owned news publisher is set to make readers pay for its online news. Mediawatch asks the editor of the Otago Daily Times if it will pay off, and what the paying punters will get in return.
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[excerpts from Mediawatch article]
The two big news publishers in this country – Fairfax Media and NZME – still give away their best stuff for free online.
….this week the biggest publisher outside of the two main companies announced time will soon be up for its free-loading readers. Dunedin-based Allied Press told The NBR (ironically in an article behind the NBR’s paywall) Otago Daily Times had been “giving away our content free for long enough.” Fighting talk. The publication’s paywall plan is a bold move by a paper which does not often chop or change. Its design is conservative and it carries some distinctly old-fashioned local content. […] From next month, a digital ODT subscription will cost $27 a month – the same as a print subscription. Subscribers of the paper will get online access for nothing. […] But readers leaving comments on the ODT site weren’t supportive. One said he thought it was a joke: “I’m guessing the paywall starts on the 1st of April?”
….Writing for The Spinoff website, [former NZ Herald editor-in-chief] Tim Murphy said because subscribers to the paper also had digital access, a big chunk of the total audience might stick loyally with the website too. But Mr Murphy added: “It will need to have content that you can’t get anywhere else, in a voice and character and feel that you want to support because it is ‘your ODT’.”
Mediawatch looks critically at the New Zealand media – television, radio, newspapers and magazines as well as the ‘new’ electronic media. It also examines the performance of the agencies, corporations and institutions that regulate them. It looks into the impact the media has on the nation, highlighting good practice as well as bad along the way – and it also enquires into overseas trends and technological developments which New Zealanders need to know about. It aims to enlighten everyone with an interest in the media about how it all works, how quickly things are changing – and how certain significant stories and issues are being covered. It’s also intended to be essential listening for those who work in the industry itself – as well as those who simply enjoy well-produced and lively radio.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: fresh.co.nz + alliedpress.co.nz – tweaked by whatifdunedin