The Economist announced that it will switch its online content provision model to a subscription-based scheme:
Beginning October 13th, we will be limiting access to certain sections of our site to subscribers only. Over the past few years, Economist.com has become a hub for intelligent discussion, with news commentary, blogs and an award-winning debate series. We will continue to encourage both subscribers and non-subscribers to participate in those conversations. We will also enhance the experience we offer our most loyal readers by expanding our subscribers-only features.
Currently, all content published within the last year is free of charge. Soon, this access will be limited to articles published within the last 90 days. The print edition contents page… will also be limited to subscribers only.
It tends to be difficult to generate income both from free and subscription-based content. The reason for that is the abundance of information online. So it is likely that other free media services will even further expand their importance as information sources and marginalise traditional journalistic content providers. It is a fatal process of structural change where we still don’t know if the traditional media online would be a sustainable model.