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Chronicle quietly abandons its paywall

Thursday, February 9, 2012

imageAnyone notice that the Chronicle has mostly dismantled its limited paywall, aka premium content strategy, put in place a couple of years ago? Rachel Swan, who writes about it at East Bay Express, notes that while the “print-only” logo still appears in the bottom left corner of the print edition’s front page, “it’s seldom attached to any stories, and few, if any, are appearing behind the website paywall, either.”

Add: Managing editor Stephen Proctor tells her the paper isn’t abandoning the paywall strategy entirely, citing certain content intended for its iPad app. An excerpt:

News analysts say there are plenty of reasons why the Chronicle would want to revamp its business. For one thing, said media expert and former Chron employee Steve Outing, it no longer behooves a struggling metro paper to focus on retention strategies for its print audience, since that audience is going to leave eventually anyway.

Noted: From where I sit, the shift is good for the SFGate web portal. Putting up two-day-old Willie Brown columns and other embargoed stuff as fresh made the site look silly.

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