In defense of paid content, or how we learned to love the paywall

In this groundbreaking series, we examine the 7 reasons why COCO+ may very well be the most spectacular membership program this planet has ever witnessed. Expounding on Reason #1 –  that paying for content is actually a good thing – is Coconuts Singapore Managing Editor Ilyas Shohilyn. Please enjoy. 

Yes, we’ve launched a paywall. We know, we know — why would you want to cough up some dough to read stories online? Hear us out.

Today’s digital media landscape is a pixelated battlefield for clicks, and the current business model of chasing audiences with sensationalized and even fake stories doesn’t work. This model forces journalists to pander for eyeballs instead of focusing on what they’re actually (hopefully) good at: crafting top-notch, interesting, and important stories.

Yes, the clickbait fatigue is real.

In a world where Facebook and Google gobble up most of the ad revenue, what’s left over to pay quality journalists is dwindling, and that means the quality of information itself suffers. That’s not just bad for producers of news like us, it’s bad for consumers of news like you.

In this age of insubstantial stories, paywalls are a meaningful step towards encouraging quality output and incentivizing reporters to do what they’re meant to: produce original stories, valuable insights, in-depth investigations, and timeless reads. There’s a reason why people are more than willing to pay for Netflix or HBO Go after all — subscribers know they’ll be getting their money’s worth. No offense, but if you’re willing to pay proper cash to spend on in-game currency for mindless mobile phone games and variant character skins on Fortnite, forking out some money to read content shouldn’t be that much different.

That’s why we’re betting on you, our readers. We think building a direct, one-on-one relationship with the people who read our stories every day is the solution to ensuring long-term sustainability and keeping the hard-won editorial integrity you’ve come to count on.

If you value news, you should be willing to pay a little something for it.

Join COCO+ today for an unlimited subscription to content. Read original and insightful News, Food & Drink, Lifestyle and Feature stories from Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, KL, Jakarta, Bali, and Yangon – including our archive of 80,000+ stories since 2011. 

Read about why COCO+ is the best damn membership program on the planet below.

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