This morning, while sitting down to write a blog about the Broncos' Jesus Christ-aided, loaves-and-fishes-style miracle win over the Bengals yesterday, I headed over to DenverPost.com and clicked on the home page's main photo, which was linked to the game summary. Instead of getting the entire article, however, I was shown only a couple of paragraphs, followed by an exhortation to sign up for "Premium Broncos" access. After clicking, I was taken to a page that told me to enter my e-mail address, a password, my gender, my date of birth, my household income and subscription information if I receive home delivery of the physical newspaper (I do). After that, I was presented with a dizzying list of e-mail alerts I could request, on subjects ranging from local news to entertainment pieces, as well as offers from Post advertisers, whose beneficence was said to be responsible for the "premium" information I'd be allowed to eyeball once I'd disgorged all the required data -- info I've never before had to jump through cyber-hoops in order to see.
There was no charge for entry, and I don't think that's only because I'm a subscriber. Nonetheless, it's likely step one in acclimating surfers to the idea that plenty of Post content will be locked behind a pay wall in the near future. Newspapers routinely required the filling out of forms during earlier periods of the Internet revolution, and limiting overall access is another example of turning back the clock. No telling at this point if the scheme will stabilize subscription numbers, let alone generate a substantial amount of revenue in and of itself; plenty of observers have serious doubts. Whatever the case, the strategy is as much a Hail Mary as Kyle Orton's flukey, game-winning heave yesterday. The folks at the Post undoubtedly hope their own pass works out as well.
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