Reuters News is the latest news organization to go the route of the paywall. Last week, the business media outlet revealed a new subscription website and metered paywall as part of a strategy designed to attract business readers. After viewing five free articles per month, readers will need to pay $34.99 a month to get access to Reuters’ news coverage on business industries including legal, sustainable businesses, healthcare and autos.
In a statement, chief marketing officer Josh London said, “Professionals need direct access to industry knowledge, data and insights from expert sources, and Reuters is pleased to offer our trusted, impartial and accurate news coverage through a premium offering.”
Reuters’ primary competitors include Bloomberg News who charges $34.99 a month for digital and $39.99 for all access, and Wall Street Journal (owned by Dow Jones) who charges $43 a month for print and $45 a month for all access. Reuters also lists the Associated Press, French news agency AFP and Getty Images as primary competitors.
[Note: Pricing varies based on promotional offers which change periodically and even change depending on when and how often you visit their subscription page.]
Reuters reports that it gets half its revenue from financial data specialist Refinitiv, the former Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters, who was acquired by the London Stock Exchanged Group PLC for $27 billion in an all-stock deal in 2018. The deal guarantees annual payments of $336 million to Reuters News in exchange for news and editorial content until 2048.
Welcome from Reuters.com
When the beta version of the paywalled site went live, Arlyn Gajilan and Josh London welcomed readers, explaining the changes they’d see in the weeks and months to come.
“All the trusted news coverage, comprehensive analysis and global perspective you’ve come to depend on is now paired with even more of our award-winning photography, video and graphics. Everything you need to make smarter and faster decisions is now easier to view, read and share,” they said.
“From our redesigned homepage, industry verticals and article pages, we’ve built an immersive multimedia experience that’s not only engaging, but essential for globally minded professionals,” added Gajilan and Lodon.
More changes are coming
More changes are on the way, including:
- Customizable views, so readers can identify the topics, companies and countries most important to them
- Livestreams of exclusive Reuters events featuring top corporate leaders, politicians and thought leaders
- Specially curated verticals, story summaries and newsletters
- Additional content and data from trusted partners
- Ability to follow their favorite journalists and the stories they’re covering
What is not clear is if the subscription experience will be ad-free. Since it is not specified, we presume that ads will be allowed on the new site. We also anticipated sponsored content when Reuters says “additional content and data from trusted partners.”
From a sustainability and business model standpoint, going to a metered paywall makes sense for a respected news outlet like Reuters. It does seem a bit late in the game, compared to other media organizations who made the decision to move to a paywall a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean a metered paywall can’t be successful. The keys to doing it well, of course, are ensuring that content remains top notch, the user experience is seamless, and the company uses reader data to convert readers into subscribers.