Reuters expects to place many stories behind a paywall

Reuters, the lone information agency providing news to users who still have their homepage set to the Netscape portal, will soon place certain news articles behind a paywall on its own website, according to a report.

The report from technology outlet The Information said employees at the company were briefed last month about plans to charge news consumers for access to some articles and most commentary pieces.

The plan would impact Reuters news articles on energy, sustainability and a handful of other niche business verticals as well as commentary pieces published under the Breaking Views brand, The Information said.

12ft.io Paywall Bypassing Service

The move comes after similar paywall plans were implemented by Reuters’s closest competitors over the past few years, including Bloomberg News, Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.

Reuters, whose main news and information revenue comes from business-to-business partnerships that largely focus on selling news articles to third parties like NBC News and Yahoo News, has struggled to generate revenue from direct-to-consumer projects in the past.

In 2013, the company pulled the plug on an internal project called “Reuters Next” that would have offered news consumers a copious amount of top stories on a responsive, timeline-based website and associated apps. The project was scrapped after employees assigned to the project missed several deadlines and requested more money to continue it.

Shortly after the cancellation of the project, the company offered buyouts to a handful of union-represented employees, according to a report published by POLITICO. The offers were made after the digital news division of Reuters’ consumer products posted a $62 million loss in the middle of the 2013 fiscal year, POLITICO said. Dozens of journalists ultimately accepted buyout offers and left the company by early 2014.

Last year, the company said it would consolidate another consumer product, the streaming mobile news app Reuters TV, into the main Reuters website and Reuters news apps. The company missed several internal goals for generating subscription revenue through a standalone Reuters TV app, according to people familiar with the issue.

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