Politico to Experiment With Paywall on Unimportant Small States

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John Harris, left, editor in chief of The Politico, and Jim VandeHei, executive editor of The Politico, speak to advertisers in Arlington, Va., Friday, Jan. 19, 2007. The Politico is a new political newspaper in Washington and also has an online edition at politico.com.
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Moving with the Internet tide, Politico announced today that it will test out a metered paywall system, like the one at the New York Times, but without overcommitting. This week, readers abroad and in six as of yet unnamed states will be asked to subscribe after reading a certain amount of pages during a six-month trial. "We chose smaller states, spread across the country, so our experiment captures any regional trends and also limits any potential loss of traffic to the site," reads a very transparent note to staff from the top brass. "To make it fair to readers, we will spread future experiments on subscriptions around to other states, so readers don't feel treated unfairly by our market tests." Washington, D.C., though, will be spared, maybe forever, because "the desire of advertisers to reach our elite audience here is exceptionally strong." Never change, Politico memos. Never change.