The Los Angeles Times has announced that it is going to unleash a metered paywall.
The journalism world goes bonkers. They get the TechCrunch coverage and everything!
But the real news is in the semantics.
It’s not a “Paywall” (although everyone keeps referring to it as such). It’s a “membership program,” according to the LA Times.
I hate to sound like I’m beating a dead horse – but from the first day the NYT launched their “paywall” I’ve said that this model would morph into one of two things either a hard paywall where access is only for people who pay or a membership program ala NPR, everyone gets to listen but only those who pay get the bumper stickers (or equivalent).
The newspaper industry is collectively going to decide. And the Los Angeles Times calling this a “membership program” is significant – even if people don’t notice the rhetorical shift.