A paywall is a revenue strategy where several sections or the entire website is placed behind a wall. To bypass the wall the readers are prompted to register themselves for a paid subscription. Paywalls can be perceived as the digital form of traditional newspaper subscriptions. You get a monthly or yearly subscription to access the content of a publication.
Just like web push notifications, paywalls also help publishers build an audience, generate recurring revenue vs advertising, and simultaneously, encourage the publishing world to deliver a higher value in their content.
How To Choose A Paywall Management Solution
Here are some specific pointers that editorial and product teams need to consider before zeroing on a solution:
Create And Track Campaigns - The solution must offer the ability to set up, create, change, and monitor a paywall campaign.
Plugin Solution - A few paywalls do not integrate seamlessly with your current CMS. Hence, don’t have a plugin. They require you to use their full content publishing solution or connect via an API.
Control Access - The solution must offer the ability to control metering settings at the publishers’ end.
Payment Model - The access to the premium content in some solutions follows a pay per article model whereas others provide a subscription for a set time frame to users. You must pick one that would interest your readers best.
Audience Segmentation - Segmenting the audience helps you filter the most valuable audience segments and retain them for a longer period with personalized offers.
Dependence on Support Team - There must be less or no dependence on the IT team for creating and monitoring campaigns. This ensures the product continues to function with minimal disruption.
17 Most Trusted Paywall Solutions for Publishers
For too long, paywalls have made publishers doubt the true potential of their content. Publishers across the globe are increasingly convinced of the need for a better monetization approach. We put together a list of the 17 best paywall solutions that can help you gain an audience and dollars.
Adapty helps publishers easily integrate the fully functioning infrastructure for mobile purchases and subscriptions into their apps (Android, iOS). Adapty has a free version suitable for apps with MTR less than 10k/month and includes access to SDK for in-app purchases, complete subscription analytics, paywalls customization, and other crucial features. The Pro version is designed for higher MTR and allows running A/B paywall tests, personalization, the use of third-party integrations, and more.
|Pricing||Free if MTR is below 10k/month, then – $7.99 per $1k MTR.|
|Plugin Solution||API Integration|
|Brands using Adapty||Avatarify, Storybeat, ABBYY, Moonly|
Leaky Paywall is a go-to solution when it comes to the most flexible paywall for WordPress. It is designed to promote your digital content in search and social media which expands the traditional approach to marketing content. It lets you lock down, open up, meter, and offer freemium access levels. With Leaky Paywall publishers get the control access to articles, categories, premium archive content, iOS & Android apps, etc. This solution also integrates with email services, third-party CRMs, and fulfilment providers.
|Pricing||Leaky Paywall offers three pricing levels:
Pubcare: $125/mo (Best for publishers that don’t need much technical support. Issues can be fixed through live chat or email support)
Pubcare Managed: $295/mo (For publishers that need tech support and complete platform management)
iOS and Android Apps: $295/mo with a standard development fee of $2995.
|Plugin Solution||Yes, WordPress|
|Brands using Leaky Paywall||Modern Drummer, Harvard University, iPolitics|
MediaPass is a paywall solution that adjusts to any device the user is on. It promises to generate 5-20X revenue for publishers than advertising. It provides protection against ad blockers and CPM compressions and gets implemented with just a line of code. It supports both freemium and metering paywall models and provides the option to show MediaPass to any number of users. This helps in optimizing the exposure for a majority of users by letting you test the gating of content and understand how your audience behaves.
|Pricing||MediaPass takes a percentage of the total subscription revenue a publisher earns.|
|Plugin Solution||Yes. WordPress|
|Brands using MediaPass||Ogden newspaper Inc., CBS Media, GateHouse Media|
MemberGate is an all in one solution. It is a content management platform that helps publishers in creating a great subscription experience for the users. Everything is controlled by the website owner, right from launching a metering campaign to getting daily reports to receiving alerts in case of any technical bug. You get the option to automate member sign-ups, welcome messages, renewal notices, etc. You don’t need plugin management with MemberGate as it’s not a free software with paid plugins.
Publishers who just getting started can go for the basic Starter plan at $97/mo for up to 100 subscribers
New marketers can go for $197/mo for up to 250 subscribers
For growing businesses, MG offers a plan at $247/mo for up to 500 subscribers
For publishers that have 500+ subscribers, you can raise a request here.
No. The tool requires you to move the entire content on their CMS.
|Brands using MemberGate||
APNEA.TODAY, Internet Marketing Training Club, CLUB RHINO
MPP Global Solutions
eSuite is a subscription management software offered by MPP Global Solutions that helps publishers acquire, monetize, and optimize digital subscribers. The subscribers own the power of amending their subscriptions, managing devices, configuring their delivery calendars, etc. The solution can easily be managed and supports all the three subscription models - hard, soft, or metered paywalls.
eSuite offers localized subscriptions in all the countries, currencies, tax codes, format, and frequency. It maximizes the ROI by allowing you to pick a particular module of subscribers that is most relevant to you.
|Pricing||Customized pricing. Contact here.|
|Plugin Solution||Yes (Not found)|
|Brands using MPP||Times Online, The Daily Mail, Miniweb|
It’s a subscription management solution with a simple integration that is compatible with most of the CMS including WordPress, Wixx, and Drupal. With Pelcro you can segment your target audience with filters such as country, region, device, etc. As a publisher, you get to customize the flow, design, and text for that audience segment. It also allows you to A/B test your audience by creating different paywalls for different audience segments. It supports leading payment gateways like PayPal, ApplyPay, Amazon payments, etc.
|Plugin Solution||Yes. WordPress|
|Brands using Pelcro||TimesReview, Newsweek, L'actualite, etc|
Piano helps publishers create customized digital experiences for their readers. It allows them to target every action with a customized conversion experience. Piano also offers a real-time data layer to understand customer experiences in real-time. It can also power multiple revenue streams such as product, bookings, advertising, and subscription, while also offering dynamic pricing.
|Pricing||Customized pricing is offered by the solution.|
|Brands using Piano||FMG, Condé Nast, Stitcher|
Pigeon is a flexible and secure paywall that uses certain tricks to prevent hackers from breaking the paywall. It offers an easy installation that lets publishers limit the content access right away. Pigeon was originally built to help online newspapers protect their content but now with its metering capabilities has become a perfect match for any content publisher and private community.
Pigeon accepts a one-time payment of $1,500 to set up the solution and provide training to the publisher team. It also charges a 10% transaction fee every time the user makes a payment. To enjoy the paywall services and customer support from the Pigeon team, a monthly fee of $99 is charged by the solution.
Yes. It’s not available on WordPress or any other plugin platform. You have to purchase the software plugin through their website to integrate on your CMS.
|Brands using Pigeon||Not disclosed|
Pay Read has been launched by Fortumo, 5 months back. It lets publishers identify and charge users through the most widely available mobile identity globally - a SIM card. It connects service providers with 350+ mobile operators across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
|Pricing||Customized pricing is offered by the solution.|
|Plugin Solution||Not available|
|Brands using PayRead||Schibsted, Aftonbladet, OLX Group, Magzter|
Working with 500+ publications, MultiPub helps publishers manage their website subscriptions efficiently by automating recurring tasks. It tracks relevant details like price, start/end dates, payment date, related marketing efforts, and demographics. It helps publishers manage the audience on a no. of levels. It lets them club separate, yet relatable, subscribers in a group making it easier to check the renewals. You get to generate group invoices, group renewal notices, and group shipping documents.
An average price of $125.00/month/user is mentioned by many product ranking websites. But MultiPub asks you to fill out a form (linked on the left) to suggest a price quote.
|Plugin Solution||Connects with an API.|
|Brands using Multipub||ACBJ, Labor Tribune, ALM, New Moon Girls|
With more than 15 years in the industry, Vindicia has processed 600+ million transactions worth over $29 billion. It’s Vindicia CashBox is a complete subscription management solution that offers best practices to optimize customer retention and improve acquisition rates. It provides opportunities for subscription lifetime, pay-per-use, add-ons, multiple invoicing choices, payment aggregation, virtual currency support, and a complete range of payment types:
Vindicia offers a free trial and subscription-based pricing.
|Plugin Solution||The solution is connected via an API.|
|Brands using Vindicia||Turner, EROS NOW, FreedomPop|
Zlick helps creators collect payments from their content (subscriptions and single sales). It works for any content (news, blog posts, podcasts, etc.) and comes with a CRM, analytics tracking and communication tools. The company is focusing on the simplicity of setting the paywall up and on the conversion rates of the readers. Creators can start collecting payments in 10 minutes and no development force is needed for setup. At the same time, readers’ conversion rates are increased by having 2-3 times less steps to finalize the purchase than competitors.
5% of the handled transactions + a monthly fee if you want mobile payments or API access
|Plugin Solution||Yes, Wordpress|
|Brands using Zlick||BONNIER, ORANGE, axel springer|
Pico simplifies member accounts and payments for many publishers. Known to deliver decent conversion rates for signups and payments, Pico covers everything from newsletters and memberships to virtual events and donations.
Here’s the pricing model that Pico offers.
$0/mo - <500 subscribers
$5/mo - per 500 subscribers for 500 to 5,000 contacts
$5/mo - per 1,000 subscribers for 5,000 to 50,000 contacts
$5/mo - per 2,000 subscribers for 50,000 and more contacts
|Brands using PICO||The Colorado Sun, Wait But Why, SupChina|
Gunning for an easier subscription commerce experience, Recurly is helping publishers scale their memberships quickly. Their revenue optimization engine uses machine learning based on hundreds of millions of successful transactions to improve their billing continuity. As per the brand, this exclusive technology has helped them increase their monthly revenue by an average of 12%.
Customized pricing. Contact here
Not available. You’d have to connect via API.
Brands using Recurly
AMC Network, Sprout Social, Lucid Chart.
Chargebee is a subscription billing platform that helps publishers online businesses simplify the recurring payments for their users. Chargebee has recently introduced a paywall in its WordPress plugin. To access the paywall for their WordPress plugin, publishers are required to place a request in advance.
|Plugin Solution||Yes, WordPress.|
|Brands using Chargebee||Cosmos, Coorpacademy, LiveSession.|
Admiral implements smart paywalls with airtight attribution, segmentation, dashboard metrics, and an easy to use interface for testing paywalls, pricing strategies, and creatives. Admiral's multi-dimensional paywall takes advantage of their Visitor Relationship Management expertise, which provides a consistent and integrated approach to a paywall, regwalls, paid subscriptions, email list growth, social follows, Adblock recovery, privacy consent, and more. The one-tag implementation, performance-based pricing, and Admiral Customer Love team makes it easy for publishers to get started fast.
100% performance-based pricing. No platform fee required.
Admiral’s unique one-tag can be used to power paywalls, regwalls, CMP, adblock recovery, paid subs with zero dev lift. WordPress plugin, Cloudflare app and Zapier integrations also available.
|Brands using Admiral||
Mediaite, Capitol Broadcasting, Salem, Boone Newspapers, RawStory
Wallkit creates interactive walls and helps publishers and content producers maximize revenue from their content. The cloud-based paywall service integrates across all the major platforms and allows easy management of paid-subscriber access to content - plus a dashboard and CRM settings that empower sales teams to increase revenues.
|Plugin Solution||Wallkit is completely API based.|
|Brands using WallKit||SKIFT, THEWRAP, Benzinga|