Jeff Sonderman of Poynter recently took a look at The New York Times paywall, calling it a success and praising it for its “leaky” qualities. He observed that there are many ways to evade the paywall, through search results, social networks and allowing access to 20 articles free a month. Sonderman concludes that people pay for things even when payment isn’t required, because its convenient, they feel like they should or they appreciate and want to support the institution that produced it. He said allowing users to sign up more willingly fosters long-term, loyal customers.
Sonderman also said, like the Times paywall, purchasing newspapers has always been somewhat “leaky.” The Newspaper Association of America has claimed there are 2.3 readers for every print edition circulating, so there have even been ways to evade payment for printed newspapers, but many chose to pay anyway for similar reasons to why they are now.