Germany’s Bild tabloid launches online paywall

Germany's Bild tabloid launches online paywall
Photo: DPA
Germany's sensationalist Bild daily, the biggest-selling European newspaper, plans to make readers pay for part of its online content from early next month, it said in its Tuesday edition.

In what it calls a “freemium model”, it will continue to provide free-access news on its popular website but also offer premium content packages for subscription fees.

Readers who buy its print edition will be able to access the extra online content using a “Day Pass”, an individualised code unique to their daily copy.

“The ‘Day Pass’ has been implemented using a novel printing process that allows for the first time ever printing an individual code in every single paper,” said publisher Axel Springer in a statement.

Newspapers everywhere have struggled with falling circulation and advertising revenue and the problem of making profits online, where readers can get a lot of news for free.

Bild rejected the idea of a full “paywall” for its website but from June 11 will offer three different “BILDplus” packages from €4.99 to €14.99 a month. They will feature exclusive stories, pictures and interviews.

Paying subscribers can opt for a digital edition of the day’s newspaper and its Sunday version Bild am Sonntag, or receive coupons for a print edition they can pick up in a shop.

Another services starting in August allows football fans to add the “Bundesliga at BILD” package, with online video clips of matches and other multimedia coverage.

Bild, a tabloid-style paper in broadsheet format, reported a daily circulation of 2.58 million in the first quarter of the year and 12.27 million unique online users in March.


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