WashingtonPost.com Extends Free Content Length to 60 Days

Posted on January 2, 2006

ClickZ reports that traffic from blogs and feeds have encouraged the WashingtonPost.com to extend its free content window from 14 days to 60 days.
In a bid to increase traffic and reap more online advertising revenues, WashingtonPost.com will allow articles to remain free on the site for 60 days before they go behind the subscribers-only wall. Previously, stories were only accessible for 14 days.

The switch is an acknowledgement of the role of blogs, search and RSS, which have all worked to keep news stories in the public eye for longer periods of time. Company executive point to the news operation's recent scoop regarding secret CIA prisons in foreign countries -- a story that has continued to generate links and buzz for weeks after its debut.

"For us to take that article offline after 14 days really does us a disservice," Jim Brady, executive editor of the site, told ClickZ News.

These new blog and search links tend to drive traffic directly to stories, rather than to the front page of the site, contributing to the importance of individual articles. About half the traffic at WashingtonPost.com now comes through these "side doors," according to Brady.
ClickZ also says that Houston Chronicle and The Toronto Star recently removed registration barriers to allow more incoming traffic but notes that the New York Times moved in the opposite direction by making more content subscription-only. Hopefully, more newspaper websites will follow the Washington Post's lead and ignore the decision made at the New York Times.
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