Marijuana blog won't start behind Denver Post paywall, CEO says

Last month, we chatted with Denver Post CEO and incoming publisher Mac Tully about a number of topics, including the launch of a new paywall at the paper.

The paywall went into effect on Monday, December 2, and we asked Tully to weigh in on the launch. In the following Q&A, he talks about the quiet response to so-called All Access subscriptions thus far, plus the paper's forthcoming marijuana blog and more.

According to the Post's announcement about the paywall, non-subscribers will be able to view "25 articles on the desktop website or 99 articles on mobile devices" without charge. But if they want to see more, it'll cost them $11.99 per month for a digital-only subscription, or a new customer rate of $5.50 per week for a print-and-digital subscription, with other packages available.

Here's our e-mail exchange with Tully, completed late yesterday afternoon.

Westword: Do you have any hard numbers on how many people have signed up for digital subscriptions since the paywall was put up?

Mac Tully: The meter only went up 3 days ago, so the activity has been minimal.

WW: What kind of response have you been getting from website users?

MT: Very quiet so far. We're not anticipating a heavy response.

WW: Have you received any complaints from people who've already exceeded the free-use limit and hadn't heard about the paywall?

MT: None so far.

WW: Have you had any technical problems -- or has everything gone smoothly thus far?

MT: None that i'm aware of.

WW: How long do you think it will take before you're able to determine if the paywall concept is a success? Months, perhaps? Or even years?

MT: We have a model that we will compare the actual result to and will adjust accordingly.

WW: Will ancillary content -- like, for instance, the recently announced marijuana blog -- be placed behind the paywall? Will it all be available free? Or will those decisions be made on a case-by-case basis?

MT: The marijuana blog would be in front of the wall, but these types of decisions will be monitored and adjusted if necessary.

WW: Is there anything I might not have asked about on this subject that you'd like to add?

MT: I view the All Access program as a strong subscriber retention tool. What we have been asking subscribers to pay for and giving away to non-subscribers is changing. Now, our subscribers will receive all of our content when they want, where they want, on whatever platform they choose and our non-subscribers will get a taste of what we offer and hopefully make the decision to join the family of subscribers.

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