Facebook to Launch Paywall in Response to Publisher Pushback

Facebook to Launch Paywall in Response to Publisher Pushback 600 380 C-Suite Network

Facebook last week confirmed its plan to launch a paywall for content providers, a move that could ease longstanding tensions with traditional publishers who objected to giving away their print stories for free.

Campbell Brown, former CNN and NBC News journalist and current head of Facebook’s news partnerships unit, announced the plan at a New York digital media forum, outlining the company’s strategy for monetizing the news content that drives so much of the user engagement on the site.

Consumers increasingly are getting their first read of daily news on Facebook.

“We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook,” Brown said. “As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we are taking the time to work closely with our partners and understand their needs.”

Test Run

Facebook will test its paywall model later this year with a small group of publishers. Readers will be given access to 10 free articles per month but then will have to subscribe to view additional articles. A more robust version is planned for 2018, according to a source familiar with the project.

Brown and fellow Facebook executive Fidji Simo briefed several publishers about the plan during one-on-one meetings last week in New York and Paris, according to the source, and the company has been working closely with numerous publishers in recent months to get a better handle on the issue.

The plan is for the subscription to operate through Facebook’s Instant Articles platform….