The Asheville Citizen-Times pay wall, announced for July 1, actually went up on Monday. On Tuesday, readers noticed a pop-up warning them that they would be charged after a “complimentary” period. Readers who clicked through were presented a window to start a digital-only subscription at $10 a month or a digital-and-print subscription for $15 a month. Current subscribers were prompted to create an account on the new site.
Last weekend, snail mail letters went out to subscribers of the print product. For example, subscribers of the Friday-Saturday-Sunday newspaper were notified that the newspaper would start charging for its digital content and told their new subscription price was $17 a month, or $15 a month if they supplied a credit card number to be automatically charged each month. The price for the three-day print product had been $13 and some change.
In a print brochure being distributed around town, the Citizen-Times is touting three main areas of focus as selling points: the newspaper’s watchdog journalism; a new weekend product focusing on Asheville as a “culinary and cultural destination”; and the newspaper’s new Ideas section (the former business section), which focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurs in the area.
Users of the Citizen-Times website get 10 free clicks a month. It’s my understanding that users who click on a CT staffer’s blog won’t have that click count against the 10 free. It’s also my understanding that any user who clicks a link provided via social media, such as Twitter or FB, won’t have that count against their 10 free – but that’s not confirmed.
Users have already been discussing work-arounds – one pay wall work-around recently posted on Reddit Asheville.
This coming weekend, the Citizen-Times plans to unveil its smart phone application for Android and iPhone, as well as a tablet application.