From today a ‘leaky paywall’ has been installed on Free Movement. Guest users can view 20 blog posts per month, after which they will find they are unable to access blog content. Inspired by the Points Based System, there are now two tiers of membership:
- Tier 1 allows full access to all Free Movement content including the blog, training materials and forums. All existing full Free Movement Members are Tier 1 members. The pricing remains the same, at £50 per person for groups of up to 10 and £200 for individuals, plus VAT.
- Tier 2 allows access to blog content only, not the training materials and forums. This is available for £7.99 for a month of access or annual access can be purchased for £79.99, both including VAT. An annual subscription includes access to Free Movement ebooks for just £1 each.
It is only blog posts that count towards the monthly total; views of static pages such as the front page, the ebook shop and so on do not count towards the total. The limit of 20 free post views will be reduced over time.
The intention of the paywall is to ask very regular readers who find Free Movement content useful to contribute toward the cost of generating that material. The initial allowance of 20 free blog posts is intended to be sufficient for casual browsers to use the material. There is no group purchase available for Tier 2 membership: firms or organisations wanting to purchase access for staff will need to purchase Tier 1 group membership.
The new pricing is intended to be good value and allow relatively inexpensive purchase of just a month’s access if necessary. The annual cost is comparable to a textbook on immigration law and is quite a lot cheaper than a journal or newspaper subscription.
Upgrades and downgrades are all handled automatically and a pro rata calculation performed by the software: you can upgrade from monthly to annual, for example, or could downgrade from Tier 1 to Tier 2. You can handle these yourself from your account page.
Email and RSS subscribers will find that only excerpts are now available rather than full text blog posts. By the by, I will be attempting to revamp blog emails in the near future as I am not sure that they are working as well as they should.
The paywall is based on a cookie which expires after 30 days. If you are unable or unwilling to contribute, there are inconvenient (to the user) ways round the paywall, which is why I say it is a ‘leaky’ one.
I am introducing the paywall now primarily because I can: the software I use for the blog was recently updated to include this feature. Long term readers will know I have raised the possibility before, but it has simply not been feasible until now.
If you have any queries, leave a comment, use the contact page or drop me an email.