Would you pay for access to The Huffington Post? That question is currently rattling around inside the head of Jimmy Maymann, HuffPost’s CEO. Speaking at The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit, Maymann admitted that a subscription system could be coming to all 7 billion HuffPost sites sometime in the future.
“I do believe in paid journalism,” said Maymann. “I do believe there are things that users should pay for. I do believe investigative reporting, things that are unique. There should be value on it.”
As for what that payment system would look like, Maymann indicated that the metered approach — like The New York Times uses — would be best.
“I don’t necessarily agree that putting up paywalls right now in general is the right way of doing it,” he explained. “It needs to be more sophisticated. Right now, it is very much on the publisher’s and not on the reader’s terms. I think we need to find some middle ground. There will be enough people who will pay.”
Maymann has a point. HuffPost could probably put some of its content behind a paywall and people would pay up, so they might as well try it. After all, where else can you get almost daily pictures of sideboob and headlines like “To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate?”