The threat was evidenced by the increasing popularity of the Internet and the successive emergent of ever more powerful connected devices in the form of Smartphones. The implication of this was that more and more people were having easy access to the Internet, and hence the changing preferences for getting their news online, and getting it for free.
This posed a threat to the entire news industry and to their prevailing business models. This was most especial to news outfits that were primarily paper print based. Not only would this affect their bottomline as regards revenue from paper sales, as readers are now expecting to be getting be getting their news online, free of charge, but that the business model required to thrive online was vastly different from what they were used to. A whole new steep learning curve awaits them in the new digital world.
The major challenge for the industry players then was that even if they manage to get their outlets online, figuring out how they would monetize their primary product, the news article, under the new digital environment would pose a challenge. Without the right guidance and direction this issue alone could spell doom for their entire business.
To address this challenge, different news outfits adopted many models, but by far the most prevalent was the "free access with paid advertisement" model.