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Major B2B publisher to introduce paywalls

LONDON - Business to business publisher Emap Inform is planning to charge users to access "significant parts" of its websites with effect from September or October, according to a report.

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The publisher's chief executive Simon Middelboe told Press Gazzette yesterday: "I think we will be moving away from free content towards having paywalls on all of our print subscription titles over the next few months."

Emap Inform titles include TV and radio industry weekly Broadcast, Retail Week and Construction News.

News of the move came on the same day that the company, which is part of larger group Emap, told its staff it would have to cut 35 roles, blaming the print advertising climate.

Middelboe said some content would still be free to view, "but not anything like as much [as] now". He said the company is currently adjusting its content management system to allow it put up subscription barriers.

Going through with the plans would put Emap Inform at the head of a growing trend for publishers to rethink their online business model.

Recently a number of media companies have expressed their desire to enforce paying for web content after years of giving it away free in order to chase advertising revenue.

The New York Times is considering charging for mobile phone content and applications and in March it was reported that The Times and The Independent were considering introducing paid-for content on their websites.

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