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Paywall at Santa Cruz Sentinel and All BANG Websites
by Bradley Allen (bradley [at]
Monday Feb 3rd, 2014 10:16 AM
On November 18, 2013, the Santa Cruz Sentinel announced that it's parent company, Digital First Media, would be moving to a subscriber-based model for accessing digital content.

I'm not certain when the online subscription model first launched on the Sentinel's website, however a paywall is in effect as of Monday, February 3, 2014.
When visiting the Sentinel's website via a link, I was immediately presented with a popup paywall stating, "You have five (5) free articles remaining for the current 30-day period. For full digital access, sign up today for just 99¢!"

Paying for access to the Santa Cruz Sentinel will also grant the subscriber viewing privileges to all Bay Area News Group (BANG) digital publications. This includes San Jose Mercury News — the flagship paper of the group, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, The Argus (Fremont), The Daily Review (Hayward), Marin Independent Journal, The Reporter (Vacaville), and Times-Herald (Vallejo), as well as all of BANG's local weekly community publications.

As an incentive to pay for access, a 4-Week Digital Access Trial is available for $0.99. After four weeks, the subscription will renew automatically at the full rate of $2.30/week. Doing the math, that works out to a rate of $9.20/month and $110.40/year.

This move by Digital First Media to charge for online content reflects a transition from revenue based on advertising towards reader-generated funding. It remains to be seen, however, if a critical mass of readers will opt-in and if the model will prove viable for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and related publications.
§You've Reached Your Limit of Free Articles
by Bradley Allen Tuesday Feb 4th, 2014 12:44 PM
This is what the Santa Cruz Sentinel paywall looks like after reaching the limit.

"You've reached your limit of free articles for this 30-day period. For full digital access, sign up today for just 99¢!"
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Who would actually pay?Razer RayMonday Feb 3rd, 2014 1:16 PM