The paywall debate has focused on how consumers might consume the news industry’s end product: news. “Will readers pay for news online?” “Will the industry survive this change?” “Won’t people just get it for free someplace else?”
These are the news industry’s Frequently Asked Questions right now. Even people that don’t believe in Rupert Murd och‘s pile-’em-high subscription strategy – free content activist Guardian News & Media to name one – want to know whether TheTimes.co.uk will be a success.
But paywalls do not sprout overnight, they need real planning. Just look at my old colleague Martin Stabe’s presentation at SIPA on the nuts and bolts of implementing subscriptions at Emap’s Retail Week magazine. So here are some other questions it might be worth asking.