In a long feature editorial this morning, the team behind The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate announced a move to a subscription-based digital service.
“Quality journalism takes a financial commitment. We can no longer provide our content online for free to non-subscribers of our products. So, starting next month, we are implementing a digital subscription system that will limit the number of stories that can be read on NOLA.com for free.”
Starting in October, readers will no longer be able to access NOLA.COM’s digital archive without paying a $9.99 monthly fee. The digital subscription gives readers full access to both NOLA.com and TheAdvocate.com. The company plans to offer a sports-only digital subscription for $4.99/month as well.
Citing the costs of running such a large staff, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate join a list of digital publishers moving towards a subscription-based model. The New York Times is another example of a large publication moving solely to a subscription-based system.
As someone who is both a full-time editor and content creator AND the founding member of a digital publication, I too understand the need for a commitment from readers. Online advertising can only afford so much, and with a staff that crosses 100 members, The Advocate is looking to find new routes for revenue.
On the other hand, as an avid reader of NOLA.COM I am also salty about having to move to a subscription-based model. Earlier this year, The Advocate purchased The Times-Picayune, effectively ending the competition amongst the brands. The main issue? The company has monopolized our local digital selection and is now forcing users to buy a monthly subscription. This will not sit well with long-time readers.
My advice for you is simple: $10 a month is nothing. You spend that on way less important things each week. With $10 a month, you are supporting local journalists who need our support. I plan to purchase my subscription when the time is right. With that being said, River Beats New Orleans will remain free for all to enjoy.
NOLA.COM suggests maintaining access to your coverage by registering at NOLA.com/register. Registration also allows you to manage your account 24/7. You can change your password, pay your bill online, and update auto-renewal. You can contact their subscriber services department at 866-698-0200 or if you prefer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured Image: New York Times