Sacramento-area residents will no longer be able to read the full Sacramento Bee online for free.
The McClatchy-owned newspaper announced Wednesday that it will limit access to its website for anyone who doesn't pay: Non-subscribers will be limited to reading 15 articles every 30 days; they'll also be able to access the home page, main section pages, the 49ers blog, Sacramento Connect and other areas.
Online-only access will be $6.95 per month or $69.95 a year; print subscribers can add access to sacbee.com for $1.99 a month or $19.95 a year.
"Newspaper websites around the country have begun charging readers for access to news during the last couple of years," the Bee wrote in its announcement of the paywall. "At Sacbee.com, print subscribers will continue to have free digital access until their current subscription renews. Regular digital readers who do not already subscribe will be asked to do so. Introductory pricing starts at 99 cents per month."
The Sacramento Business Journal reported that the Bee is "following a trend that is rapidly changing the newspaper industry."
Other McClatchy papers are testing paywalls, and the Florida-based Poynter Institute reported that McClatchy Co. CEO Patrick J. Talamantes told shareholders the paid access trials were an "ongoing search for that sweet spot – trying to capture additional subscription revenues without harming traffic or advertising revenues."
What do you think? Will you pay for online access to the Bee? Do you subscribe to the print edition? Let us know with a comment below.