BitTorrent is rolling out a pay-wall system with help from Radiohead's Thom Yorke, who is distributing his album "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" using features built into a BitTorrent Bundle. Fans will be able to download one song and one video from the album for free; access to the entire album costs $6.
Piano Media has merged with Press Plus, a U.S.-based digital subscription service founded in 2009 by former Wall Street Journal publisher L. Gordon Crovitz and journalist Steven Brill. The Slovakian pay-wall operator, which supports monetization platforms for 27 different publishers in a number of countries, has hired Kelly Leach -- formerly of The Wall Street Journal Europe -- to run the combined company.
The Financial Times has emerged as an early victor in the pay-wall game, earnings numbers indicate. The paper has more than twice as many digital subscribers as paid print readers, with growth in mobile readership accounting for almost half of total traffic in the second quarter.
Eugene Volokh, creator of the blog Volokh Conspiracy, writes that readers will eventually need a subscription to read content, but that the metered pay-wall model includes ways to avoid the fee. Volokh writes that The Washington Post has delayed rollout of the pay wall until the end of the year; after that, readers can get 10 free stories a month, plus access via the blog's Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Newspapers should consider dropping their metered pay walls in favor of offering users a choice of video advertisements to pick from before accessing content, some experts say. Pierre Chappaz, co-founder of the video-ad company Ebuzzing, cites statistics that indicate an "advertising wall" that lets users decide which ad they want to view can double click-thru rates and boost ad recall by nearly 300%.