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Paywalls
What works and what doesn’t	

!

10 some best practices according to our experience
Per Buer
CTO	

Varnish Software	


(Freemium / Premium business model)

Original Heidelberg
Original Heidelberg
Business logic
Background
• We launched our first paywall 2 year ago	

• 12 projects so far
We’re moving to a paywall
Paywall concepts
• Freemium / premium paywalls	

• Identity based- and anonymous metered
paywalls	


• Referrer-based acce...
Lots of moving parts!
Project scope
• Paywalls involve:	

• Backend, frontend, ops, business, editorial,
marketing, customer support ++	


• Pro...
Access control
Access Control
• Technically challenging	

• Lots of different approaches	

• Client (SaaS), CDN, Appserver, Edge
Scalability &
Performance
• Scaling a website is harder with a paywall	

• Identity based metering makes is even
harder as...
Dev

Ops
Access control rules
• Remember: Access control rules need	

• To be implemented	

• To be communicated to the readership	...
Testing
Testing paywalls
• Tests now need to cover the paywall	

• You need to test the whole paywall,

covering VCL, CDN or Javas...
Payment
Payment is easy
:-)
Subscription
management
• Some newspapers have existing

subscription management software that
handle digital	


• Those w...
Typical paywall project
• 9 months long, 3-12 month range	

• Business side typically uses 3-4 months to make
up their min...
Summing up
1. Complex projects	

2. SaaS paywalls might not cut it (bias)	

3. Consider scalability (bias)	

4. Access con...
Photo credits
•
•
•
•
•

Clock mechanics, http://www.flickr.com/photos/45810363@N04/4835327934/in/photostream/	

Devops, ht...
Hard parts   paywall - stup
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Hard parts paywall - stup

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Per Buers experiences working with various news organizations when implementing paid content strategies.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Transcript of "Hard parts paywall - stup"

  1. 1. Paywalls What works and what doesn’t ! 10 some best practices according to our experience
  2. 2. Per Buer CTO Varnish Software (Freemium / Premium business model)

  3. 3. Original Heidelberg
  4. 4. Original Heidelberg
  5. 5. Business logic
  6. 6. Background • We launched our first paywall 2 year ago • 12 projects so far
  7. 7. We’re moving to a paywall
  8. 8. Paywall concepts • Freemium / premium paywalls • Identity based- and anonymous metered paywalls • Referrer-based access • Micropayments
  9. 9. Lots of moving parts!
  10. 10. Project scope • Paywalls involve: • Backend, frontend, ops, business, editorial, marketing, customer support ++ • Proper project management is very important
  11. 11. Access control
  12. 12. Access Control • Technically challenging • Lots of different approaches • Client (SaaS), CDN, Appserver, Edge
  13. 13. Scalability & Performance • Scaling a website is harder with a paywall • Identity based metering makes is even harder as database interactions happen at every page-view
  14. 14. Dev Ops
  15. 15. Access control rules • Remember: Access control rules need • To be implemented • To be communicated to the readership • Keep it simple if possible • People don’t pay for things they don’t understand
  16. 16. Testing
  17. 17. Testing paywalls • Tests now need to cover the paywall • You need to test the whole paywall, covering VCL, CDN or Javascript based paywalls • More complexity - higher costs
  18. 18. Payment
  19. 19. Payment is easy :-)
  20. 20. Subscription management • Some newspapers have existing subscription management software that handle digital • Those who do not might face a more complex project
  21. 21. Typical paywall project • 9 months long, 3-12 month range • Business side typically uses 3-4 months to make up their mind :-) • Our implementation costs are in the €7-25K range and typically spans 2-4 weeks. • New, creative models add time and cost • (Norwegian newspaper tend to be very competent)
  22. 22. Summing up 1. Complex projects 2. SaaS paywalls might not cut it (bias) 3. Consider scalability (bias) 4. Access control & security is hard 5. This might be the time for devops 6. Testing becomes harder 7. Statistics is different 8. Payment is easy 9. Subscription management
  23. 23. Photo credits • • • • • Clock mechanics, http://www.flickr.com/photos/45810363@N04/4835327934/in/photostream/ Devops, http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/8634021085/ Padlock, http://www.flickr.com/photos/faithmonsoon/234237378/ Munch, The Scream. The rest are bought of Shutterstock
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