Summary:

Updated below: This doesn’t come as a shocker, but the extent of it does: TheDeal.com, the website for The Deal, has in one swoop gone compl…

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Updated below: This doesn’t come as a shocker, but the extent of it does: TheDeal.com, the website for The Deal, has in one swoop gone completely behind a paywall. In a note on its newly redesigned website, the sudden move is explained in a slightly terse note: “We’ve made big changes to TheDeal.com. All daily news, plus commentary, data and analysis, is now only available on The Deal Pipeline, a transaction information service for investment banks, law firms, private equity firms, hedge funds, deal advisers and corporates.” The new service is called “The Deal Pipeline”, but no specific pricing has been disclosed on its site. The Deal weekly magazine, it seems, will remain free.

This marks a return of of the paywall for Wasserstein & Co-owned M&A trade publication: it had been operating a partly subscription site after the burst of the first Internet bubble but over the last few years had slowly opened it up with lots of added features, blogs and videos. With the current economic and deal environment eating into its ad revenues, it is taking the premium route, again. We have a query in to get further details…more when we get more.

Updated: I spoke to Martha Brown, VP of Communications & Development, who explained some of the moves. The new site and sub service went live last week. The weekly mag will remain free online. The company’s not releasing details of pricing, but it is a corporate licensing model based on the number of seats bought. No individual subscriptions will be sold online. The Pipeline, launched in mid 2008, is now the primary brand, and has about 70 journalists working on it. All the blogs are gone, and the new analysis service “Sense of the Markets” will incorporate some of those.

Paywalls will be one of the hot topics at our upcoming paidContent 2010, Feb. 19 in New York. We’re nearing a sellout but you can still register.

By Rafat Ali

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