The Atlantic lifts its paywall but gains subscribers

Make their articles free and gain more paid subscribers. It’s counterintuitive but it works for the American media The Atlantic.

While the written press has again lost kiosk traffic, all media are benefiting from record audiences. The anxiety-provoking climate, sometimes accompanied by an increase in free time, everything pushes us to inform ourselves in order to try to understand the current crisis. Between a renewed interest in the 8 pm newspaper – which was announced dead – and the Web, several media are doing well.

Despite the abysmal fall in their advertising revenues, many media have decided to delete them paywall on articles dealing with the coronavirus. Objective: to provide everyone with quality information and thus fight against the fake news epidemic that accompanies that of Covid-19. And sometimes the results are unexpected.

Removal of paid articles and gain subscribers

American media The Atlantic is among those who made their articles free. A strategy « paying » since, according to the editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, the medium recorded the best audiences of its 163 years of existence and has doubled its monthly audience record. But above all, The Atlantic gained 36,000 paid subscribers in March.

Readers delighted to get their hands on the wallet

On Twitter, new subscribers explain their choice to get their hands on the wallet as they are handed free information. « I’m happy to pay, good work should be rewarded », writes Lee Parrish. « I decided to subscribe in March, in part thanks to the excellent coverage of the Covid », adds Simon Dupuis. « I appreciate the removal of paywall due to the Covid, but I will continue to pay anyway. Well-presented, quality content deserves to be paid.  » tweets Joe Sammons. It is clear: they pay and with a good heart.

In addition to completely disrupting our habits, the Covid-19 crisis is leading us to rethink the usefulness of our professions in the face of those on the front line who save lives or allow us to feed ourselves. At the same time, we reassess the importance we attach to information and the work of journalists. And that may be good news for the future.

Alice HuotApr 3, 2020

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