Spectator erects online paywall for mag content

Current affairs weekly The Spectator is to start charging online for magazine content.

Website-only content – such as the Coffee House and other blogs – will remain free. But content from the magazine will no longer be available for free online.

Chairman and editor-in-chief Andrew Neil said: “The idea of a magazine or newspaper giving away its content for free over the internet was never particularly logical, but the industry was feeling its way in a new market. The Spectator has now agreed a clear business model, online and offline.

“Our website is profitable within its own right, through advertisers and sponsors, and its bespoke online content will remain free. But the magazine is a distinct entity and has to be paid for; we are asking those who want to read its superb content to pay for it and we have come up with a variety of ways in which they can do so.”

Paying subscribers will be given a unique number which allows them in to the Spectator’s gated online content area. The Spectator is also offering subscriptions to purchase a digital facsimile of the magazine and subscriptions via the Kindle digital reading device.

The print circulation of the Spectator dropped 2.4 per cent to just over 72,000 in the first six months of this year. The Specator claims to attract 300,000 unique users a month to its website.

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