Poland is paid news content’s next frontline

Its soccer team may have just been knocked out of Euro 2012 on home turf, but Poland has another upcoming spectacle to look forward to…

Publishers in the country are the latest to try charging users for news websites.

Point Group‘s weekly news magazine Wprost will start charging pay-as-you-go micropayments and for a short-term metered subscription plan from Tuesday.

The title will charge using the Znak-It system, which typically involves stuffing an e-wallet with “znak” credits but which also white-labels to publishers.

paidContent understands another large news publisher also plans to charge in a few months’ time. Politics news magazine Polityka began charging in April; its counterpart Przekroj did so in 2011.

The publisher interest is, typically, leading to a vendor face-off.  Wprost’s selection of Znak-It could put Znak-It head-to-head with Piano Media, the bundled-subscription facilitator which has launched in Slovenia and Slovakia and which paidContent understands has been negotiating with Polish publishers for its ambition to launch in a third country.

Znak-It founder-CEO Greg Golebiewski, who favours alternatives to the subscription model, tells paidContent:

“What is interesting is the dynamics of the Polish market.

“The market is interesting indeed, as there are many different models being tried out or considered at the same time. Within the next six months or so, there will be lots of data to compare.”

Wprost is Znak-It’s second major adopter following use by German magazine publisher Bauer’s eastern European division, Wydawnictwo Bauer. It has 320 bloggers who charge using the system.