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So what do you think of the O.C. Register’s paywall?

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As many of you may know, the Orange County Register is no longer available online to casual web browsers.  You have to be a subscriber to read their online articles.  They deleted their smart phone application and are not available on the Kindle. 

So what are your options?  Well, you could buy a digital only subscription, but that will cost you $37.80 every 5 weeks, which comes to a few cents over a dollar a day.

You can get access to the Register online for free if you buy a delivered product.  The regular rate is $60.48 for 7 day delivery every 8 weeks, which comes to $1.26 a day.  They also have a special offer which is $19.87 every 8 weeks for Thursday – Sunday delivery, which comes to 62 cents per day but this deal does not allow you to read their articles online from Monday through Wednesday.

New subscribers can get a special deal, which is 3 Weeks of 7-day Home Delivery for $1/day, and you will receive an additional week, which comes to 4 weeks for $19.99.  Current subscribers can get a deal too, which amounts to $1 extra a week, or $27.87 every 8 weeks, at the same link.

This is all rather awkward if you just want a digital subscription.  I don’t have the time to flip through a newspaper, nor the inclination.  But since I want daily access to the Register’s website, I am stuck buying a newspaper I will hardly ever open up and read. 

It makes no sense to me that the Register would cut themselves off from the rest of the Internet and essentially devalue their websites, but that is what they did.  And they have doubled down by bringing back their weekly local newspapers.

It seems that the Register is going to lose out on young readers and anyone else who might have stumbled across their site.  But in a way I am glad they did this as it has really boosted the readership of my blogs, as you can read about here.  I publish seven blogs now and in April of 2013, they had a combined 47,011 visits and 139,914 page views.

It is, in my humble opinion, a digital world.  The Register can shut themselves off from it, as the Byzantine Empire did when they walled themselves off from the world after Rome fell.  But the Byzantine Empire fell eventually too, and I believe that is the fate that will one day befall the Register as well. 

The Register remains one of Santa Ana’s top employers but I bet that their readership in our city is at an all-time low.  They may yet live to regret their decision to erect a paywall, which has been nothing but an inconvenience for all of us.


 
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18 Comments  comments 

18 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Dissapointed, before it was free, i hate this site now.

  2. anon

    I don’t begrudge these news organizations making money in the digital era.

    But c’mon, this price is simply obnoxious. It’s not that good of a media source to begin with…unless you’re into crime tickers.

  3. Pete Pearson

    Unfortunately they will be out of business by end of year based upon this decision alone.

  4. PS Resident

    I have a relative who only reads the paper form. I just utilize her subscription to the paper to get online access. She would never use it anyway. I would really hate to not have access to our local OC paper but I would never pay those rates nor would I get the actual newspaper anymore. As much as I used to love my Sundays with the paper, times have changed and I no longer have a need for a paper form of news. I’m not sure what the solution is for the Register but I am fairly certain that this is not it. If someone reads a headline that they want to know more about, they can usually just google it and find numerous sources for the same info, for free. For those who really want it, find someone who subscribes who will let you use their login info.

  5. Mateo

    You are half correct.
    The Santa Ana Register has half a chance of succeeding. Probably more than the the regular Register with internet Pay wall. All Politics is local! Viva New Santa Ana.

  6. Mateo

    From the hours of 1 to 3, I am very obnoxious. after 3, I am a guilty kiss ass.

  7. Mateo

    Pedroza did you send me this months check?

  8. Anonymous

    I’m not sure of the reason for the passion. The Register, like all newspapers from my understanding, was never fully digital; now it is. Newspapers are a dying business; why? Because they are a business. I used to see comments about the quality of reporting and editing — and for a while, it was pretty bad. But reporters and editors have to feed their families.

    The Internet has done us a disservice. If we rewound history and the internet was just coming into being and the newspapers added an on-line subscription for free to their paper subscribers, we would all be thrilled.

    Therefore we have more in-depth content, more local content, more reporters, several local magazines saved, and more high-level writing and editing all at no charge to paper customers. (Which I have always been).

    Thank you.

    • As I outlined in my post, they are charging too much for the digital only subscription. I am being compelled to buy a paper product I don’t want. And they are losing out on future readers by closing off their website. They should have just gone digital and weaned themselves off the paper product which at this point is asynchronous.

  9. Anonymous

    The OC Register’s paywall pricing is ridiculous. It’s four times the price of Netflix, half the price of basic cable TV sub. Maybe $30/year and I’d pay to access the website, but $30/month? Just ridiculous. I hope it fails spectacularly.

  10. carpetbagger

    The OCR is talking about making a “DAILY CODE” in the inside corner to be able to buy a “newsstand copy” and use the code to access. The struggle is they have decimated distribution.

    The idea is a QR style code would give daily access. Again, distribution is the problem. they are less concerned with piracy as the advertisers are already bailing.

    Villa Park ford would love a link, for example.

    They are doubling down with things like an local issue, but that won’t last long. The hipsters downtown like Mateo and Michele, want instant access.

    Speaking of the City Council. I would love to know which City Council members subscribe and how.

  11. Dale Van Steenis

    Every story is available elsewhere for free so…. Why subscribe? Bad move

  12. UNEMPLOYED COUNCILMAN

    I wish I could afford it. but come Sunday, I am unemployed.

    Hey, does anyone know where I can score a plush job, one of the kids I counseled was in the news this week, unfortunately he was involved in a stabbing in our neighborhood, while hanging out with four adult gang members.

    Maybe the Del Taco Shift Manager can let me pick up a shift or two, I know he’s been hitting the bottle heavy lately, since his wife got fired from her Irvine housekeeping job.

  13. Rex

    News information these days is a commodity. You can get it anywhere and for free as has been stated here. CNN, Yahoo, Google and others give you news for free because they figured out the business model is predicated on advertising not trying to get everyone to pay to read the news…so the Register will have to wake up to the reality that less traffic only means less advertisers. Its your classic “spiral of death”. It won’t be able to recover and it will have to make drastic moves (i.e., layoff whatever talent is left, sell off the printing presses, etc) on its way down. Website traffic translating into advertising was their only hope and right now they’re virtually going in reverse. I think we (OC residents) all are looking for a new local news outlet and I’m sure someone will figure this out and give us all a new option….its call competition.

  14. Michael

    As of today The OC Register no longer offers a Kindle paper. That was my preferred way to read the paper. The online version is just plain clunkier to use and needs constant online access. Bye bye OC Register.

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