Published on Monday, 21 May 2012 08:00
Crain's Chicago Business announced today
that it will soon be placing its website behind a subscription plan, much like that of the websites for other news periodicals. The new paywall for ChicagoBusiness.com
will begin on June 14th.
Crain's has had a different subscription plan in place for a few years, with articles older than a few weeks archived and only available for digital subscribers, but allowing all new content to be freely seen online. With the new plan beginning next month, website visitors will get 12 free page views (articles -- not counting the home page) per 30 days, but after that, only subscribers can see the articles.
One advantage of the new metered subscription plan is that not only will subscribers to that plan be able to see all of the new & newer articles, but Crain's entire digital library will be opened to them. That includes all articles written recently and over the past 15 years, all videos, all blogs, all annual lists, pdf copies of the print edition, plus access to all content on Crain's other local websites, ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com
. The new subscription will work with all digital ways to access the website: traditional Internet via desktops & laptops, as well as smartphones and tablets.
The digital-only subscription plan will cost only $59 per year. For those wanting a print and digital subscription, the cost is $99 per year. Those who are currently print subscribers, can upgrade to being both a print & digital subscriber for free for a limited time only. They can do so by visiting this link HERE
and upgrading their current subscription information. Current digital subscribers will see no change in their annual rate, as Crain's has already been charging $59 per year for archive access. They will automatically be upgraded to the full digital package.
Crain's Publisher David Snyder said in today's announcement: "We have enhanced the user experience and instituted a subscription model that is current and fair. It satisfies the power user's need for deeper Crain's content while leaving other users' access to the site unaffected."
Crain's Chicago Business now joins a growing list of other newspapers nationwide which charge for online access, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Of course, there are local Chicagoland newspapers that already charge for online access, as well. The suburban Daily Herald was the first Chicagoland newspaper to install a paywall for its website, charging $19.99 per month -- a plan that began in September 2011. The Chicago-Sun Times became the first of the two major downtown newspapers to install a paywall for its website. In December 2011
, the Sun-Times began charging $6.99 per month for full access beyond 20 free page views on its website, as well as on its many suburban newspaper websites. The other major downtown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, supposedly has a paywall plan ready to go and was looking at beginning it at some point this spring, but as of yet, has not announced any date or official metered plan. According to insiders, the plan will be very similar to that done by sister-newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, which had its paywall begin this past March