Can Paywalls and Digital Advertising Tackle the Problem of Decreased Revenues in a Newspaper Business?

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  947 Words
Date:  2022-06-19


The conventional print media is coming to terms with the reality of the digital space when it comes to generating revenue. This is because the majority of entities now opt to utilize the digital media to make their products known to consumers, a fact that has eroded the traditional advertising revenue for print media represented by newspaper outlets. However, the underlying question remains whether the mammoth revenues that traditional advertising brought to the newspaper outlets can be matched and substituted by the revenues earned from advertising in the digital space. Digital advertising, coupled with the paywall approach to charging readers for online newspaper content, have been the latest trend in the digital media space. The gradual growth in this digital avenue has peaked in the recent past with advertising earnings challenging the dominance of established digital giants in the cyberspace.

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Conventional newspaper outlets like 'The New York Times' have tapped into the digital space by venturing into the paywall business of charging online news consumers for the content that they put up on their website (Lee & Molla 2018). This globally respected news outlet has experienced astronomical growth in revenue from its paywall venture to an extent of competing at the same level with internet giants like Google and Facebook. Both the online subscription sales for the newspaper and its digital advertising revenue have steadily risen in the relatively short time that the media outlet has been monetizing its online content found on the website. This points towards reaffirming the emerging notion that the use of paywalls by newspaper companies can be sustained in the long run to replace the traditional advertising revenues associated with the physical sales of printed out newspaper content.

The reputation of the newspaper company matters a lot when consumers come to picking the news content that they want to read via the internet. The more reputable a newspaper is the more the readers will keep trooping back to pay for news content that they believe is trustworthy and containing truth. Subscriptions rise or shrink depending on the content that online consumers deem valuable. Online subscriptions for most of the newspaper publishers have been growing exponentially from around the year 2010 when most of them started charging their readers for online news items. Other crowd-pulling newspaper features like crossword puzzles, recipe and gossip columns, as well as political content have been directly responsible for the sharp rise in the sales revenue generated from the monetized digital content (Myllylahti 2014). Conventional advertising may have slowed down the newspaper business but it has not left the news publishers without options, as the digital space attests.

The interesting thing in the new turn of events is that the cyberspace has been dominated by giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It is thus an impeccable achievement that the traditional newspaper companies are leveraging on the same internet platform to get their content to the general public that is not only able, but also willing to pay for prime content found in news websites (Kung et al. 2015). Eating into the market share of these Silicon Valley blue chip technology companies guarantees the newspaper business a sizable chunk of the digital advertising revenue that effectively covers for the decreased sales income from the conventional newspaper advertising business. The rising subscriptions for the paywalls and digital content suffices to sustain the newspaper industry as the vibrant business it is in terms of disseminating educative, informative, and entertaining content.

The revenue generation diversification strategy has had an impact of increasing the market value of newspaper companies like 'The New York Times' in the stock exchange. This is a vote of public confidence in the direction that the newspaper companies are taking, both in the United States and the United Kingdom, as the online content consumers acknowledge the newspaper outlets for embracing technology and keeping up with the changing times occasioned by digital technology. The news content consumers and Silicon Valley companies have already moved to the digital space and it is only fair that newspapers: the traditional custodians of truthful information to the public, move with the tide by crossing over from physically printed content to online content published in their websites. The shift from the rigid conventional approach to publishing news is a welcome relief to the newspaper entities that have always relied on advertising revenues as they can now tap into the digital sphere.


Going by the above discussion, there is no denying that the paywall subscriptions and digital advertising for the newspaper content publishers is the ideal way to tackle the dwindling revenues from traditional print advertising. This is because monetizing the online news content covers for the shortfall in declining conventional advertising. The future prospects of the contemporary news publishers is in the digital space where most of the newspaper companies are ambitiously targeting to increase the number of online news consumers who are willing to pay a premium for the internet newspaper content. The new strategy for newspapers will not be an easy task as technological companies in the Silicon Valley are expected to put up a fight through cut throat competitive strategies. These will only make the cyberspace affordable and quality for the end news consumer accessing content through online platforms.


Kung, L., Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism., & University of Oxford, 2015, Innovators in digital news, London: University of Oxford.

Lee, E., & Molla , R. (2018, February 8). The New York Times digital paywall business is growing as fast as Facebook and faster than Google. The Recode.

Myllylahti, M., 2014, Newspaper Paywalls-the Hype and the Reality: A study of how paid news content impacts on media corporation revenues, Digital Journalism, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 179-194,

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Can Paywalls and Digital Advertising Tackle the Problem of Decreased Revenues in a Newspaper Business?. (2022, Jun 19). Retrieved from

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