Le Figaro unveils paid-content strategy

Le Figaro, the French national newspaper, has revealed details of how it plans to charge for content, but says the news portions of its website, lefiaro.fr, will remain free. It plans to raise revenues from its most loyal readers by offering services such as newsletters, access to its online archive, the best of The New York Times translated into French and access to a digital version of the newspaper available from 3am each morning. The paid-for system builds on Le Figaro’s Mon Figaro feature, which launched three years ago and allows users to create their own profile and personalised features when visiting the site. Those signing up to the subscription packages will be able to connect with other Mon Figaro members, in effect creating a social network. The newspaper is offering three packages: Mon Figaro Connect, which is free but requires users to sign up; Mon Figaro Select, at EUR 8 a month or EUR 79 a year; and Mon Figaro Business, for EUR 15 a month or EUR 149 a year. The introduction of a paywall comes as newspapers in the UK also look at how they can turn their online popularity into profits. In particular, Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Sun and The Times, has vowed to stop giving away content for free online. Le Figaro follows in the footsteps of two German newspapers, Berliner Morgenpost and Hamburger Abendblatt, which introduced paywalls for readers last week.



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