March 9, 2015 Last Updated 2:44 pm

Toronto Star to drop paywall April 1 – new version of iPad app gets slammed by readers

Meanwhile, newspaper in Poland using the Piano Media paywall solution, Gazeta Wyborcza, says it has reached 55,000 active digital subscriptions

The Toronto Star announced today that on April 1 they will drop their paywall (no April Fool’s joke, apparently). The end of the paywall is no surprise as the company announced in November that they would be ending its paywall as part of a series of moves that would include a new tablet app developed in partner ship with La Presse.

Starflag“We are making this move after extensive input from our readers and our advertisers,” the paper’s editors said today. “Listening to our audiences is critical to the success of our daily newspaper and our digital offerings and we are committed to continually adjusting our digital strategies to provide them with what they want.”

The move means the cancellation of the paper’s Digital Access program.

Although the Star launched a new version of its iPad app late in January, TheStar for iPad, it looks very different from the La Presse+ app. In fact, the app has gotten slammed by readers inside the Canadian iTunes App Store, so one hopes this is not new app promised in November.


Meanwhile, Piano Media announced that one of the newspapers using its paywall system, Gazeta Wyborcza, had reached 55,000 active digital subscriptions.

“This is an extremely successful result for Gazeta Wyborcza,” said Danuta Breguła, Business Development Director at Gazeta Wyborcza. “Our partnership with Piano Media was important because they supported us in our efforts to reach our goals, building new tools for us and quickly implementing our online marketing campaigns and analyzing the results. We wouldn’t have achieved our target without this perfect cooperation.”

The dropping of one paywall, and the success of another, is yet another sign that paywall success varies tremendously from one situation to another, from one kind of newspaper to another.

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