Digital paywalls are the newspaper model now

Paid Content at Newspapers2013 was the year when paywalls became the norm for newspapers.

70 percent of newspapers now have some sort of paywall (see pie chart on right), according to a survey by the Reynolds Journalism Institute. That’s up from 41 percent in 2011 and 47 percent in 2012.

Consumers are still adjusting.

Newspapers are not using just one model and are changing the business rules in search of the sweet spot of subscriptions and audience. But don’t expect the walls to falls.

In the Reynolds survey, publishers generally said: “We should have done it sooner.”

While there are few experiments, don’t expect a similar rush to paywalls by TV website owners or digital only startups.