Introducing the Phone Paywall

Today, we’re announcing a major change in how we deliver news on phones to you. We’re rolling out a paywall.

Now, you may have heard some bad things about paywalls in the past… they’re evil, draconian, and yes, there are 500 other web sites that cover exactly the same news… and do it for free. Yes, we’ve heard all that too. So, in designing our paywall, we had to get a little creative.

Ours functions differently from any other pay wall, and is fitting for the brand. Instead of having to directly pay to view the site, we’re still free.

Here’s how it will work:

1) When visiting, once per day, per browser, per device, and per typist, you will get our pay wall. It will present you with a phone number to call into. To help keep that free, we will also provide a Gmail Google Voice call button, so you can make the call right from your device.
2) You’ll have to listen to some ads. We’re sorry.
3) After listening to some ads, you’ll be given a 14 digit code, which you’ll enter in a box that will appear on the site. This code changes every minute, so you can’t share it with your friends. Fear not, we keep playing it in a loop in case you make a mistake.
4) Using Facebook Connect, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, OpenID, StumbleUpon, Digg, and MySpace bridges, you can share this login between devices, so you just have to connect with all your social networking sites to keep reading… until the next day, when you can repeat the process over again.

We’ll be implementing this change over the next week, so you may see the site vanish from the web briefly in a rolling deployment, don’t worry, all those 403 errors are just us implementing new ad spaces to help also make the site even more profitable. For feedback, partner commentaries, and more details, click read more…

April Fools Everyone… paywalls… sheesh.

Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of Today, he leads the team building Console, Inc. - a new kind of Androidâ„¢ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at

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Questions for Chris? You can also reach him by email, but please use the contact form for general comments, questions, and feedback.

12 responses to “Introducing the Phone Paywall”

  1. Jimmy

    Does this mean google reader won’t work anymore?

  2. Jimmy

    Well hopefully this is just an april fools joke. But if not looks like I’m gonna have to unsubscribe.

  3. JailBird

    Some people are dense…

  4. Christopher

    Lol – you had me going there til I saw the comments. I guess it’s “technically” april 1st already…

  5. Dale M. Buckey

    Mr. Price-

    Well Done!

  6. Phoneman

    If this is an April fool’s joke, very well done. That thought didn’t even cross my mind until I read the comments, lol.

    If it’s not an April fool’s joke then I guess I won’t be visiting this site anymore.

    Lol, the more I think about it, the more I know this is an April fool’s joke. You totally got ma, lol.

  7. Steven Goldfein

    Argh Chris, you almost got me.

  8. jim

    April Fools, huh….more like Heart Attack City here. The day the internet becomes a a walled garden, a capitalist profit driven fiefdom of paywalls is the day I pull the plug for good and crawl under a rock.

  9. sam somwaru

    great idea! im in. no problem.

  10. Joseph Klaas


  11. granville

    Lmao i read this yesterday and it didn’t strike me that this was an April fools joke until today haha. Good one, u had me believing this for like a whole day.