Paywall trial ends at Johnston Press’s Scottish pairing

THE publisher of The Scotsman newspaper is understood to have ended a trial, pay-to-view facility on six newspaper websites it operates, including two in Scotland.

Johnston Press has dropped its access-to-content ‘paywalls’ around two of its Scottish weekly newspaper websites – for the Southern Reporter and the Carrick Gazette – plus four of its English weekly newspaper websites.

As reported by allmediascotland, the paywalls were set up at the end of last year, as part of a trial.

The story was today reported in the Press Gazette, which said: “The scheme saw the publisher trial different access methods across the six papers; reader registration, uploading “teaser” stories which referred readers back to full versions in the print edition, and paid-for access.

“The paid-for access trial, which charged readers £5 a quarter to access web content, was seen by many as a test to assess whether paywalls could be implemented on flagship titles such as The Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post.”

It continues: “One source has told Press Gazette the number of subscribers paying to access stories on the website of Selkirk-based the Southern Reporter was in the low double figures.”

And it added: “Johnston Press today declined to comment on the success of the trial.”