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First Journalism Online Meter Starts Ticking: LancasterOnline Obits

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Pennsylvania’s LancasterOnline went live this morning with the first newspaper use of Journalism Online’s Press+ — metered out-of-town access to obits. The meter kicks in after an out-of-market user reads seven obits in one month; viewing more will cost $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year. [Slideshow.] The plans were outlined earlier this year with hopes for a spring launch but “it took a little longer to test and be satisfied with it than we thought,” Ernie Schreiber, the site’s editor of content development, told paidContent.

The Steinman Enterprises community effort may seem like a small project to larger outfits but it’s significant beyond being a test of Press+ technology. Instead of sinking money into a DIY effort, costs for the online site for the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era were limited to employee time, mostly Schrieber’s, so anything the company makes will be profit. The split in this case is 75-80 percent of net revenue, with Journalism Online getting 20-25 percent. Or as Schreiber puts it, “as long as we don

4 Responses to “First Journalism Online Meter Starts Ticking: LancasterOnline Obits”

  1. I have blogged again on the obituary question:

    The Lancaster problem is that their new approach is solely in their interest, trying to generate more revenue from something that is already most likely a huge profit center. I suggest a new business model that will provide a service grieving families want and might be happy to pay for.

  2. Gregory Smith

    Mr. Schreiber, (“Early on in our planning, the Financial Times was the only well-known publication using a metered approach”) should have researched a bit more as Crain Communications’ has now been sucessfully using the metered access approach for nearly a year; while not being subject to a 80-20 revenue split. The real test in the metered access approach is not the service provider’s solution but rather the strategy of the content provider in generating revenue using that model. But anyway, good luck!

  3. I use news online to connect stories together.

    I will not pay diddly squat to find a god damn quote 4 years after I actually read a story.

    Nor should students have to have a monthly or yearly subscription to content they need for classes, content which they will never use again.

    This is retarded.

    Start advertising locally and accept the fact that you will have to bow down and start printing stories big companies threatened you not to print. Your local advertisers are also likely to be your readers. But that’s the kind of server master relationship you don’t want. That’s why you won’t go local.

    The longer you hold out, the more we know where your loyalties are.