First Brazilian newspaper implements paywall to charge for access to digital content

The trend of newspapers implementing paywalls is emerging in Brazil. Starting on Thursday, June 21, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo will start charging a fee to access the content on its website, which will have the entire printed edition available, reported the same newspaper.

This Sao Paulo newspaper already had incorporated a paywall system on its tablets and smartphone applications, but now it will be the first Brazilian newspaper to also include the system on its website. The newspaper Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo also said that they will begin charging for access to their digital content, but they have not yet set a date for when this will take place, according to Meio e Mensagem.

As explained by Folha, website visitors will be able to read up to 20 texts per month for free. After this, they will be asked to fill out and submit a brief registration, which will then allow readers to access 20 more news or column entries for free. From the 41st entry on, the reader will be asked to do a paid subscription, according to the news site Jornalistas da Web.

Before the charging for digital content even started, Internet users had already expressed dissatisfaction and posted messages in the comment section of the newspaper's website and on social networks, reported the Meio e Mensagem.

Charging for access to digital content is the latest alternative used by the struggling newspaper industry to overcome decreases in revenue because of drops in printed circulation and advertising. Despite signs of growth in the Brazilian newspaper industry, in contrast with the U.S. and European markets, the Brazilian newspaper industry is investing in new business models that reduce the dependency on advertising and generate revenue in digital media.

Still new to Brazil, the paywall model is being adopted by more and more U.S. news outlets. The newspapers Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times already charge for their content. And, recently, the Minneapolis Star, and the MediaNews Group, owner of 57 newspapers in 11 states, revealed their plans to implement a paywall system to charge for digital access.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.