Softening the Paywall

Blog, business, content creation, entreprenuer, marketing strategy

Photo credit: http://enterprisirregulars.com

Photo credit: http://enterprisirregulars.com

In a post from September 23rd, 2013, Fast Company examined a new company that is working to change the how journalists are funded, and it definitely caught my eye.

The company, Beacon, in trying to emphasize their writers, has come up with a pretty cool way to institute a paywall. Yes, we just used the words “cool” and “paywall” in the same sentence!

Instead of just interrupting the reader with a “YOU MUST SUBSCRIBE TO VIEW THIS CONTENT” message, Beacon instead features what looks like an online dating profile, but for the authors. In this “profile” the author is featured and readers have a chance to not only read about what that particular author writes about, but view a short video as well in which the author showcases what they write about, for whom, and what to expect when reading their pieces.

These videos really create a rapport between the readers and authors, and Beacon is banking on the fact that it’ll make readers more likely to pay the $5 per month subscription to fund that journalist. Beacon also states that once you subscribe to one author’s articles, you’ll get all content written for Beacon, even by other writers.

In a world where content is exponentially becoming the ruler of all things marketing, this tactic to bring customers closer to the content is ingenious. Not only can the reader gain access to myriad pieces ranging in topics, but they can feel like they directly contributed to that content’s creation.