The Mario Blog
In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”

How to get users to pay for content they consume in newspapers seems to be the hot topic this week here in Buenos Aires, but also across the globe.

Buenos Aires, Argentina–I am here this week to speak at the WAN IFRA Latin America Digital conference, which opened Tuesday.  More than 500 CEOs, publishers, editors and journalists from all over South America have convened here for this event.

Tuesday, ADEPA (@Adepargentina ) the organization of Argentine journalists, held a forum for a group of about 30 participants in the conference to discuss the future of the media.  At the top of the discussion—paywalls.  Argentina is taking its first baby steps in terms of developing paywall strategies, led by the two leading national dailies, La Nacion and Clarin. However, I was surprised to see that regional newspaper from a variety of Argentine provinces, are also experimenting with different pay models, some with a degree of success.

At the ADEPA gathering, Ben Cotton,  Marketing Director of The New York Times, presented his newspaper’s strategy for monetizing its content, explaining that it has been a well planned, meticulously timed project. Cotton told the success story of the Times, which has reported a profit of $33 million for the third quarter of 2017, but, more importantly has grown its number of subscribers from 600,000 to  2.400.000 in two years.


I, too, had an opportunity to participate int he discussion, emphasizing that people will pay for content that becomes “essential” in their lives, as the Times has become in mine and that of millions who subscribe and pay for the Times’ content offerings.

The images below capture two moments of my informal presentation to the group.

As always, it was nice to find people with whom I have worked in Argentina through my more than 35 years visiting this country and working with such newspapers as La Gaceta (Tucuman), La Nueva Provincia (Bahia Blanca), La Voz del Interior (Cordoba).




Mario’s Speaking Engagements


Nov. 16-19WAN IFRA Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina

April 18-19, 2018-Newscamp ,Augsburg,  Germany.


May 26, 2018Associacion Riograndense de Imprensa, Univesidad de Santa Cruz (Unisc), Brazil


June 3-6, 2018The Seminar, San Antonio, Texas.




Our digital transformation workshops

If you would like to find out more about our workshops for digital transformation, email me:

I will be happy to answer your questions and provide more information. Our workshops are offered in both English and Spanish.



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