Today everything has changed and Newspaper Publishers are actively looking to reinvent their business model in the digital / mobile ecosystem, including the Web. This year we have seen two of our national institutions change their way of thinking, namely the financial newspaper Kauppalehti and now in November -our biggest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat.
Let's start with Helsingin Sanomat. The prominent newspaper is now 123 years of age, established on November 16, 1889. The printed newspaper still has a high number of subscribers approx. 366,000, however, this number has fallen rapidly from the 400,000 mark. The broadsheet sized newspaper is to be published in tabloid format as of January 8, 2013 as part of the process to renew the image of the printed newspaper. The mobile and web services had been accessible for free until November 20, when the paywall was put into effect. Now only five articles per week can be read for free, as well as those shared by people in social media.This is a turnaround for the Finnish newspapers, accepting the fact that quality journalism is not for free. A lot of havoc followed, as was the case when the New York Times established its now successful paywall and went on to attract digital subscribers. Helsingin Sanomat has adopted the same model for its paywall and have already sold approx. 140,000 Combo subscriptions to people who like to combine digital readership with print. I am one of them - although I am currently considering an all-digital subscription in 2013. But some other family members prefer print on Sundays.