Online publications are becoming unsustainable because ads aren't doing well. Media want to maximize profits, so they force people to see and click on as many ads as possible. This creates a vicious circle in media publications: misinformation, click-bait titles, articles with gratuitous numbers such as "10 cryptos that will make you rich".
People are great pattern recognitors and, eventually, they start detecting the tricks to steal their attention. As people want to regain their sanity, they install ad-blockers and create a mechanism to visually avoid ads.
Ad revenue begins to shrink, and publishers decide to create subscription packages, imitating the old-school journalism business model, where people bought the physical newspaper. The problem is that online information isn't as exclusive as a TV show on Netflix; if you can't find the post at diary A, you will find it at diary B.
Moreover, millennials have grown without consuming newspapers, they prefer to use Twitter or read a blog post from a random person. Maybe baby boomers are willing to subscribe to old publications, but I reckon that millennials and Generation Z prefer to pay a monthly subscription to watch Ibai—a well-known streamer—, instead of reading posts from a renowned diary.
As there are a lot of alternatives to consume information, I wonder why Google ranks websites with paywalls in the first positions. Nowadays, newspapers are offering the worst experience to consume content. Media publishers, rather than thinking of themselves, should first think of the user. Why does someone want to pay for something they can find in 25 similar sites?
Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.