Postmedia CEO talks paywall on today’s Metro Morning

Yesterday, we reported that Postmedia has started a metered paywall experiment with two of its papers, the Montreal Gazette and the Victoria Times Colonist. Today, Metro Morning‘s Matt Galloway talked with Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey about the move.

“We believe that we supply a premium product and we believe people should pay for that,” Godfrey said.”They pay for their newspapers and we believe a lot of them will want to pay for good news.”

Maybe, but as Galloway says on the show, similar experiments in Canada, such as The Globe and Mail‘s paywall, have flopped. This doesn’t seem to trouble Godfrey.

“A lot has changed since the Globe experiment,” he told Galloway.”The fact is that we now have extremely [higher] costs in putting our content, not only on our own websites, but the various platforms that are being initiated, the iPad is something new, Playbook, which RIM has come out with, there’s going to be a lot more of them in the near future.”

Newspapers are going to be forced to change their ways, he adds, because the public is demanding it: “They want the news when they want to get it and on platforms that they want to access it to.”

But why pay for something you can get for free just about anywhere else?

Godfrey likened it to the free newspapers handed out in major cities, such as Toronto. Arguably, people could get by on the freebie papers, but they still subscribe to the dailies. Why?

“The daily papers are premium products they supply more in-depth news,” said Godfrey. “And people pay  
for it. We feel the same policy, the same relationship should exist for paying for that news on the website.”

As for whether the paywall experiment could become permanent, Godfrey said “we’ll see how the trial goes.” He added: “I don’t think we’re making any final decisions on this, this is a pilot, and a pilot is a test. we’re going to try and find out as much as we can.”