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How Rising Paywalls Are Already Paying Off for Publishers

Not long ago, Bloomberg Businessweek declared 2014 the “Year of the Paywall” for the news industry. Sure enough, everywhere you look in publishing these days, you see news organizations ranging from Politico (and its Capital New York offshoot) to the new tech-oriented website the Information experimenting with online-subscription models. “I would not start a media company today based on advertising alone,” Politico Chief Executive Officer Jim VandeHei told me recently. “I think it would be crazy.”

This week, the Online Publishers Association, an industry trade organization, released a  study (PDF) that highlights the various ways newspapers and magazines are using paywalls to shape and expand their businesses. The group conducted interviews with executives at Condé Nast, Gannett Community Newspapers, Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, Time, and The Wall Street Journal. The study is worth a read. Here are three, quick take-aways: