The Hoopla set to charge for content with paywall

the Hoopla logoWomen’s website The Hoopla has erected a paywall introducing a subscription model after three years of providing news and opinion for free.

The website co-founded by editor-in-chief Wendy Harmer and publisher Jane Waterhouse will relaunch with a new look on April 14 and offer subscriptions priced at 99 cents for a day pass, with monthly options ranging to a $75 annual subscription.

Waterhouse, CEO of publisher We Magazines, said the changes reflected the commercial reality for an independently-owned publishing house in a crowded market.

“The brutal fact is that we can no longer survive on advertising alone,” she said. “We considered a raft of alternatives: including publishing less frequently; reducing our roster of paid writers; or reproducing cheaper, syndicated content.

“But we know that, as all online entities seek ways to make their sites pay their way, what The Hoopla readers adore is our original, fearless, independent articles and our unique point of view.

“People are constantly telling us how much they love The Hoopla and our quirky mix of stories – our brave writers, humour and lively conversations.”

Paywalls are becoming an increasingly common feature for Australian news sites, with both News Corp and Fairfax using them across their suite of publications.

Waterhouse said The Hoopla has published more than 5,000 original articles by around 300 Australian writers and attracted over 150,000 comments on the website since it launched in July 2011.

“With our readership and comment numbers still growing – we know we have hit a nerve,” she said.

“Australians want smart, sassy, independent content and now we are asking them to pay for The Hoopla. We’d like to think we are valued, and even more than that, relied upon, for a different perspective.”

Harmer said: “Jane and I, and our fearless investors Deanne Weir and Cass O’Connor, have put our heart, souls and money into this venture, and our readers have rewarded us with incredible, passionate loyalty.

“I do so hope that those who love and value what The Hoopla brings to the national conversation will see us grow and continue to employ more local writers and journalists.”

She added: “We have always considered our readers to be our employers at The Hoopla – we work for them first, second, and third.

“We do love our advertisers, but we wish there were more of them who recognise that our readers, as a legion of mature women (and men) in charge of household or singles’ budgets have money to spend! And not all of them want to buy funeral insurance.”

The Hoopla disclosed its advertising income and rates it pays its journalists and writers in November 2012 when the title asked its readers to help pay its writers.

The subscription program is:

The Day Pass – 24 hours on the site for just 99 cents.
The Monthly – just $9.99.
The Quarterly – just $29.99.
The Yearly – just $75 one off (usually $120 -35% discount up until May 11)


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.