The Huffington Post has announced that it will consider introducing paid-for content to its site within five years as the UK edition of the site moves toward profitability.
Speaking at the Guardian’s Changing Media summit chief executive Jimmy Maymann made it clear he is receptive in principle to the prospect of charging for selected content, but is not prepared to countenance doing so for the time being.
Maymann said: “I do believe in paid journalism. I do believe there are things that users should pay for. I do believe investigative reporting, things that are unique. There should be value on it.
“I don't necessarily agree that putting up paywalls right now in general is the right way of doing it. It needs to be more sophisticated. Right now, it is very much on the publisher's and not on the reader's terms. I think we need to find some middle ground. There will be enough people who will pay."
At present the Huffington Post draws 100 per cent of its funding through advertising but will look to charge a fee for high-value content such as investigative reporting and high-profile columnists.
Also speaking to The Drum at the summit earlier this week Maymann said it had shelved plans to launch in Russia as a result of the Ukraine crisis.