This should be interesting: in an effort to stem the losses from the National Post, the brain trust at CanWest Global is moving to a “a paid subscription model in November for the online versions of its [eleven] newspapers” now found on canada.com.
CanWest would be the first newspaper chain in the country to lock its newspapers behind paid subscriptions. Currently, the only notable newspaper requiring paid access is The Wall Street Journal (a Globe-affiliated site that I work on, GlobeinvestorGOLD.com, is also closed to non-paying visitors).
CanWest CEO Leonard Asper is quoted as saying: “There’s no point in having canada.com with 120 million pageviews a month if nobody is paying for it. If we lose the pageviews fine. But either way people are going to start to have to pay for newspapers.”
The telling addendum: ”At the very least we'll stop the cannibalization I think.“
Of course, if this works — and I mean really works — look to others (Quebecor?) to follow suit.