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.
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.
Exact Editions, a U.K.-based digital publishing platform, has introduced a feature that enables publishers to delineate access parameters based on a reader's geographic location. For instance, using the "ByPlace" feature, publishers can drop a pay wall and allow free access to content if a reader is in a library, then lock content back down and offer a paid subscription when they leave.
Rupert Murdoch's News International announced that it will construct a pay wall around digital content at its U.K. tabloid publication The Sun and will begin charging for access beginning in the second half of this year. The news came shortly after another U.K.-based paper, The Telegraph, announced that it will require domestic readers to have a paid subscription to access online content. The paper had been charging only international readers for access.
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%.