Paidcontent.org recently interviewed ABC News Digital Senior Vice President, Paul Slavin, who revealed that he expects to have a paywall plan in hand as early as June. Paywalls have become a hot topic, and a sore subject, for media outlets lately, and they have found proponents in everyone from Rupert Murcdoch, to the New York Times, to Hulu. For PBS, many questions should arise here. Should it ever implement a paywall? Would anyone pay for PBS’ current content? Could a paywall help replace the pledge drive system someday? Is a PBS paywall system even possible, or permissible? If it were, what regulatory hurdles would PBS have to clear first?
Other broadcast networks are making their case for cutting themselves in on cable fees and installing paywalls, and these new revenue streams will improve their fiscal fates. Conversely, PBS’ inability to tap these streams and keep pace with fellow broadcasters, may only hasten its demise.
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