Publishers need to make a living. Journalists, video producers, musicians, and bloggers all have to pay their bills.
The two common ways of making money from online content are:
Free content with ads Subscription content without ads Sometimes publishers use both, but with a reduced number of ads for subscribers, magazine-style.
The trouble with subscriptions is that people can quickly feel saturated. Once you subscribe to WaPo, NYTimes, WSJ, you might want to read that LATimes article, but don’t want to sign up for yet another monthly subscription.