Paywall startup Piano believes it can fix publishers’ problems
It’s no secret that American newspaper publishers have struggled to monetize their online content as traditional paper-based subscriptions fall. The _Wall Street Journal_ has famously had a paywall since 1997, but that has been a relatively rare practice across the industry. After all, _The New York Times_ paywall didn’t go live until last year. More recently, in February 2012, the _Los Angeles Times_ launched its new paywall. Others like Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper group, are expected to follow suit.
In fact, a new study published last month from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism shows that for every $1 gained in online revenue, $7 are lost on the print side. Publishers are understandably wary of blocking free unrestricted traffic after putting up a paywall—and consumers who have been used to reading many different news sites for free are unlikely to subscribe to multiple sites.