Paywall — What is it?

Paywall is probably not a term you have heard much—so far.  But, I bet you will hear it more and more in the future.   This will be especially true if you read newspapers online.

A paywall is a system that prevents Internet users from accessing webpage content (most notably news content and scholarly publications) without a paid subscription or one-time fee.

Paywalls come in a couple of varieties. They are both “soft” or “hard” paywalls in use.

Soft paywalls have more flexibility since a user can view the content without subscribing.

Hard paywalls allow minimal or no access to a website’s content without subscription.

In recent time, newspapers have been putting paywalls on their websites to increase  revenue which has been diminishing due to a decline in both print subscriptions and advertising revenue.

Although it looks like paywall should be two words (pay wall), it seems that preferred format is one word.

How long before you encounter a paywall in your internet reading?

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