« Back to Glossary Index

What is paywall

The Internet has changed the way media works. Now anyone with a connection can get their news online. The abundance of information meant that it was harder for publicists to maintain any kind of competitive advantage. Legacy media companies had no choice but to adapt to the changing landscape.

This change was by no means easy; the technical requirements for profitable online operation far exceed those for operating a printing press that has existed for centuries.

Monetizing digital media is hardly simple or straightforward. Banner blindness, declining click-through rates, and ad blockers are just a few challenges publishers must contend with.

While these rates stack up against digital media, earning money as display advertising was the only way to monetize them. Fortunately, digital publishers now have the technologies to replicate the subscription model online.


What is a paywall?

Paywalls are a way for digital publishers to restrict access to their content. Users can usually purchase a paid subscription to remove these restrictions. A distinction is made between different types of restriction.


Paywall types

Hard paywalls

With a hard Paywall the user must first subscribe to online content before accessing it. This method is quite risky, as the publisher will lose a large part of their audience and visibility.

Nevertheless, there are use cases for a hard Paywall. It can work if you target a specific niche and offer exceptional content.

Soft paywalls

This type of restriction allows users to view a certain number of items. Then, they have the option to sign up for full access to access all content. Soft paywalls offer a good balance between profitable revenue a fair treatment of users. In addition to a relatively lower drop in pageviews, reader retention is typically higher compared to hard paywalls.


Combined paywalls

Some publishers also use a combined Paywall. Here, the user has free access to selected content, but others are available only to premium users.

Because the media ecosystem is so complex and diverse, there are no set formulas for what exactly will and won't work. It depends on many factors and cannot be generalized. For example, the uniqueness of the content or the preferences of the target group play a decisive role.


Should you use a paywall?

A hard Paywall is probably not the right solution for everyone. However, you could use a soft Paywall with restricted access to specific content. Thus, you could potentially increase your overall revenue without finding significant traffic losses. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that most of the users will come to a Paywall are in a negative mood.

In summary, paywalls can be a great revenue strategy, but there are some conditions to consider. For example, you should already have a solid readership and high-quality content. And you also need to be convinced that a certain percentage of your readers are willing to pay for access to your content.

« Back to Glossary Index


What is a paywall? arrow icon in accordion
A paywall is a type of barrier that makes it difficult for users to access certain content on the Internet. The paywall attempts to get users to pay a fee to view the content.
Why are paywalls used? arrow icon in accordion
Paywalls are used by companies to increase revenue from digital content. This allows the company to ensure that it makes a profit from publishing content.
What are the different types of paywalls? arrow icon in accordion
There are several types of paywalls, including a one-time payment, subscription, metered, hard, and soft paywall. A one-time payment is a one-time payment for access to a specific content. A subscription allows users to access a specific content for a specific duration. Metered Paywall allows users to read a certain number of articles per month for free. A hard paywall requires payment to view any content, while a soft paywall provides some free content and hides the rest behind a paywall.
Can paywalls be bypassed? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, there are several ways to bypass a paywall. Some of the most popular methods include using ad blockers, using proxy or VPN servers, searching for free sources or trying to change the URL of the content.
What types of content are behind paywalls? arrow icon in accordion
Many types of content are behind paywalls, including online newspaper articles, videos, music, software, and e-books. In most cases, it is possible to access this content by making a payment to the content provider.
How to decide whether to bypass a paywall or pay? arrow icon in accordion
The decision whether to bypass or pay for a paywall depends on one's preferences and needs. If one absolutely needs the content, it is best to make the payment. However, if one is not sure whether one really needs the content, one can try to find a way to bypass the paywall.
Is paying for a paywall secure? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, paying a paywall can be safe if the right security measures are taken. It is important that the payment is made over a secure connection and that the data is encrypted.
Can the cost of a paywall be very high? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, the cost of a paywall can be very high. It is important to check the cost before buying a content. In some cases, it is also possible to take advantage of special offers or discounts to reduce the cost.
Can companies use paywalls as a marketing tool? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, businesses can use paywalls as a marketing tool to increase sales and generate interest in their products. With a paywall, a company can increase its reach and attract more users.
Who can benefit from a paywall? arrow icon in accordion
Companies that publish content on the Internet can benefit from a paywall. By implementing a paywall, a company can generate more revenue from digital content and increase its profitability.

With top positions to the new sales channel.

Let Google work for you, because visitors become customers.

About the author

Social Media & Links:

Your free gift!
Our SEO strategy

You want more visitors and better Google rankings?

Watch our free SEO strategy webinar now and understand where your SEO levers are and how to tackle them head on.