johnstonpress In contrast to papers, such as the London Sunday Times, that are erecting paywalls, one English and Scottish local newspaper publisher is bringing its paywall trial to an end.

Press Gazette reports that Johnston Press is dropping the paywalls it erected on the websites of two Scottish and four English weekly papers starting in November as a trial to learn more about how well paywalls might work. If one source the Press Gazette heard from is right, they might have learned a lot:

One source has told Press Gazette the number of subscribers paying to access stories on the website of Selkirk-based the Southern Reporter was in the low double figures.

Johnston Press reportedly declined to comment on the success of its trial, saying it “was intended purely for internal purposes.”

Of course, smaller local papers couldn’t be expected to have the same number of readers as the New York Times or the London Sunday Times, but still, “low double figures”? That’s fairly impressive.


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