media updates story access

ON MONDAY, Providence Business News is transitioning to a "metering" model of accessing online content at
Posted 5/31/13

(Updated Tuesday, June 25, 3:40 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE - Providence Business News has changed the way our visitors access news and information on the site. Beginning at noon Monday, we moved to what is known as “metering,” a model of accessing online content that is used by The New York Times, the Financial Times and other popular publications.

Essentially, this means that content previously behind a paywall will be available to anyone (along with all previously free content), with limits on how many stories can be accessed in any 30-day period. Subscribers will see no change to their access to the site.

PBN decided to undertake this change because we want the southeastern New England business community to have greater access to all the award-winning journalism and ground-breaking events that we produce.

In an average 30-day period, PBN produces nearly 500 individual news items, from people-on-the-move shorts to three-part series on the evolution of Providence’s Jewelry District (which took home a first-place award in the most recent New England Newspaper and Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition) to our 5 Questions interview segments with business leaders in the region.

Here is how metering works:

  • Again, there is no change for our subscribers. Subscribers – who pay $89 for a one-year print and online subscription or $79 for online only – will continue to have total access to everything PBN produces.

  • The first time a non-subscriber comes to the site, he can read any three stories produced by PBN staff or our wire services, no matter if they are from the print or online editions.

  • When that non-subscriber tries to read a fourth story, he will be asked to either log in if he is a registered user already or to become a registered user (which is accomplished by filling out a brief form). After logging in, users have access to up to an additional 12 PBN-produced or wire service news items, no matter if they are from the print or online editions.

  • Attempts to access any stories beyond those additional 12 will require the user to either purchase that single article (for $5) or become a subscriber ($79 a year for an online-only subscription or $89 for a print and online subscription); to subscribe, visit:

  • After the initial 30-day period is up, the registered user will be asked to give some more information, after which he will have access to another dozen stories.

  • Once the third 30-day period is reached, all a registered user needs to do is log in to access up to 12 stories for that month.

One final point about access: while registered users can access individual stories (including those from our print editions) up to the limit of 12 per month, the digital editions of every week’s print version of PBN, as well as the digital editions of our special sections, can be viewed by print subscribers only.

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