Did You Know? Facts About Media24’s Paywalls

In 2014, Netwerk24 started charging a fee for access to certain content, making it available only to subscribers. Netwerk24’s paywall has evolved over the past eight years into the hard paywall it is today. In 2020, News24 followed suit and implemented a paywall. Both websites now offer a mix of free and paid content as part of their business strategy.

The technology division, 24.com, which supports Media24's digital platforms, is responsible for creating and managing these paywalls. The paywalls have been highly successful and have set the benchmark for the media industry in South Africa. To celebrate this success, 24.com has compiled some facts about paywalls:

  • News paywalls are a potent way to support news organisations financially through diversification of revenues. Major international players such as The Economist and The New York Times have had, and continue to have, success with them.
  • In 2020, News24, South Africa’s largest news site, launched its freemium paywall, providing both free and premium content to subscribers in the form of investigative journalism, in-depth articles, and opinion pieces. The aim is to ensure the continuation of reliable, trustworthy, and original journalism by generating revenue through subscriptions.
  • Four Media24 brands currently have paywalls: News24, Netwerk24, Landbou and SNL24.
  • Netwerk24 has more than 90 000 paying subscribers – making it the largest digital news subscription platform in South Africa.
  • News24 has garnered more than 80 000 subscribers in less than three years.
  • Subscribers enjoy a growing range of exclusive features, including customised newsletters, text-to-audio, comments, podcasts, audiobooks, the ability to save articles for later reading, and access to subscriber-only events and giveaways.
  • In 2022, News24, Netwerk24 and Landbou added a games section for subscribers. The games section features daily crosswords, sudoku, and word games as well as a weekly news quiz.
  • Media24’s brands use the same base paywall system with a common code base, customised for each brand’s needs.
  • The 24.com paywall system supports different payment types, such as app payments, credit/debit cards, and debit order.
  • Subscribers also get access to the PDFs of magazines and newspapers, such as City Press, YOU, Drum, True Love, Rapport, Huisgenoot, and Sarie.
  • The 24.com paywall system helps publication teams to analyse data, including customised dashboards and reports. It also enables them to test different subscription and marketing strategies to see what works best for their audiences.
  • The teams responsible for the 24.com paywall and payment systems are always working to make them better and adapt to changing trends in the industry. They aim to provide the choices and features that South African audiences prefer, while also staying updated with international best practices.