Tribune Publishing Switching to Metered Digital Pay Model

Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other publications to offer limited number of free articles before readers hit subscription paywall

Tribune Publishing is switching its publications over to a metered digital pay model, which will offer a limited amount of stories for free before readers hit a pay wall requiring them to subscribe.

The switch was announced on the company’s earnings call on Thursday by digital chief Denise Warren, who said the change will go into effect during the second quarter of 2016.

The company will also sell print and digital bundles as part of the change.

Warren was a key figure during the New York Times’ switch to a metered digital pay model in 2011. In the third quarter, Tribune was up 37 percent year-over-year in digital-only subscribers, brining its total to 81,000.

On the call, Warren said if given the choice between a subscription model, readers are more likely to choose a metered model over the current premium model, where the majority of content is accessible for free.

The Chicago-based publishing company reported a loss of $3.4 million for the third quarter. The company delivered $0.12 per share on revenue of $404 million, beating earnings expectations by six cents but missing revenue expectations of $404 million.

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