Lessons learned from Svenska Dagbladet’s paywall journey

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


Svenska Dagbladet introduced its metered model in 2013, followed by a premium model (subscription-only content) introduced a year later.

“For us it was evident that we needed to do this ... heading forward. Because if everything made digitally should be free, it was getting more and more difficult when the print circulation is going down,” Gunilla Asker, CEO at Svenska Dagbladet, said at the INMA World Congress in London. “So for us it was a pretty difficult decision, but at the same time, necessary.”

And it’s working well, she says.

Her advice for other news media companies is that they realise core news is what audiences will pay for. 

“I think you need to have self-confidence in the brand and in the qualitative journalism — that you really know that this is something worth paying for.”

It’s not about volume, Asker says. It’s about quality.

“If you want to keep two revenue streams — advertising stream and the subscription stream — then you really need to stand there and put up your metered model. You’re going to see your pageviews going down in the beginning, but you have to realise that’s going to be temporary. They’re going to come back again.”

About Dawn McMullan

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