The free ride is over. If you want to read The Kansas City Star online, you’re going to have to start ponying up, starting Dec., 5, according to a note written by Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish. It’s not going to be fun, she wrote. Or popular. But it’s something McClatchy, The Star’s parent company, hopes will change the fortunes of the company, which reported a continued decline in ad and circulation revenues last week.
McClatchy has been trying paywalls at five papers since the summer; it has reported positive results, but hasn’t released details on the success of the programs.
Now, I understand that being charged for something that you’ve gotten for free isn’t fun. But providing unlimited access across all platforms for a small amount makes good sense.
This all-access way of packaging our content addresses the new ways people come to us, and provides incredible flexibility for readers.
Readers will have unlimited access to our suite of digital products, including kansascity.com, e-Star replica edition, mobile sites, digital back-issues and archive databases. This provides subscribers with access on smart phones, tablets, PCs and more. With e-Star — our digital replica of The Star’s print edition — articles, photographs, even in-paper ads and crossword puzzles, can be emailed, printed and saved.
I recognize that charging even a few cents more isn’t necessarily popular, but we hope you’ll recognize that it is a logical strategy to enable us to provide quality local news and information in the increasingly myriad ways people reach us.