May 8, 2018

Publishers are using paywalls to survive

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, Wired, Business Insider and The Atlantic have launched new paywalls within the past year — and legacy institutions like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe have all tightened their paywalls over the past few years.

Why it matters: There are many factors contributing to a rise in paywalled news, like tech's ad dominance, and a piqued interest in all things Trump. But on-demand access to information and entertainment has also become a consumer trend that is likely helping news outlets get consumers cash in.

What's next? There's an ongoing debate about whether one day news organizations would bundle their subscription services with other popular on-demand media subscriptions, like Spotify, which once came with a NYT All Access subscription.

  • Food for thought: Via @alexweprin: "As an aside, I think this becomes even more likely if/when Apple launches their Apple Music/Apple TV shows/Apple News bundle."
"No one except the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and now probably the Washington Post has come up with a digital product that really in any significant way will replace the revenue that is being lost as print newspapers lose both circulation and advertising ... It is very difficult to see — with a lack of success in terms of important dollars rising from digital — it’s difficult to see how the print product survives over time.”
Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting

Gut check: Local media executives have been saying for months that their biggest competition for subscriptions and eyeballs is large national newspapers.

Some perspective: Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 30 newspapers, including Buffett's hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald. One of Buffett's earliest jobs was delivering newspapers door-to-door, which is why he hosts an annual newspaper-throwing contest.

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren supporters form super PAC
  2. We may be on "the brink" of coronavirus pandemic
  3. Pentagon policy chief resigns
  4. National polls show Bernie in control ahead of Nevada
  5. How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors
  6. Sanders and Bloomberg battle over heart health

Trump has declared war on sanctuary cities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Armed with subpoenas, lawsuits and immigration SWAT teams, the Trump administration has declared war on sanctuary cities.

The big picture: President Trump and his administration have used every available tool to try to crack down on local governments that refuse to hold immigrants in criminal custody, block immigration agents from working in county jails or deny federal authorities access to immigrants' records.

Peter Thiel's Founders Fund isn't really Peter Thiel's Founders Fund

Illustration: Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Charles Eshelman, Steve Jennings, and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Founders Fund has raised $3 billion for a pair of new funds, so expect a slew of headlines about how "Peter Thiel's venture capital firm" is now flush with cash.

Behind the scenes: Thiel is essential to Founders Fund, but he's not autocratic. Instead, Axios has learned that he's one of three people with veto power over most FF investments, and is unable to do a deal without approval of the other two.