France’s Le Fig And L’Express Planning Paywalls, Too

The dominoes keeping falling – now it’s the turn of leading French publications Le Figaro and L’Express, which are both gearing up to restrict content to paying subscribers, according to a report from Le Monde.

Most revealing – in the case of L’Express, the paywall is being delayed not by questions over whether readers would pay, but whether the paywall can come in at a reasonable cost. In the case of L’Express, online director Corinne Denis says that the model they are currently looking at would cost more to implement than subscriptions could bring in.

Le Figaro, which is France’s oldest national newspaper, had been planning to introduce a paywall for certain services this month but has put plans on hold. The plan is now to launch the paywall in February. Like many other printed newspapers, circulation at Le Figaro has been falling: 2008 figures were 320,000, compared to 366,529 in 2001, according to Wikipedia.

The news magazine L’Express plans to reveal details of its paywall plans sometime this year.

Le Monde, the competing paper that published the report, already has a pay wall around premium features on its site. For