Article Paywall Bypass: Trading Data for News Subscriptions

Bypass an Article paywall opening a locked laptop
In order to make the most from content, publishers should be aware of the best monetization model to use for their business. This way, they can be prepared and ready to maximize revenue.

Picture this: you’re sitting down with a fresh cup of coffee on a Monday morning, and you log online to read your favorite news publications. Let’s say you start at The Wall Street Journal. You see a headline that sparks your interest, and of course, you click through to read the whole article. Then–BAM! You’re hit with a paywall, forcing you into a decision: do you want to commit to a subscription and regular payment to read this article, or do you just have to leave your curiosity where it is and pass up content you want to consume?

The good news is that the decision doesn’t have to be so black-and-white. While paywalls can be a frustrating barrier for readers and consumers of content, they aren’t always unpassable. With the right know-how, you can subvert those paywalls or just avoid seeing them altogether. That way, you can access all the content you want with none of the frustrations that distract you. In this article, we’ll lay out exactly how you can avoid seeing paywalls ever again (hint: it’s with data you’re already giving away for free).

Grow Your Publisher Readership & Revenue

Fastest Way To Bypass Article Paywall

For information on how to get around paywalls, check out our article on How To Get Around News Paywalls. For those who have been using these methods for some time, they’ll tell you to try incognito mode on google chrome or clearing out your cookies/cache in your web browser. While these methods will certainly help you when you hit a soft paywall, they can do little to help you pass through a hard paywall. A soft paywall is like the New York Times, where you can access a certain number of free articles per month for free before you need to subscribe. Publications like the The Wall Street Journal employ a hard paywall, which is to say that anything outside of their headlines are not viewable to a reader without a subscription.


When you’re faced with a hard paywall, the best solution is Invisibly. And indeed, whether you’re looking for a solution to soft or hard paywalls, Invisibly helps you tackle both right on their platform. If you haven’t heard of Invisibly, it is a news app, with the added bonus that it uses your data to unlock content that is gated elsewhere. Remember our example of you sitting down with your morning coffee to read The Wall Street Journal? You wouldn’t hit a paywall if you were viewing that same article on Invisibly (and you had the credit from sharing your data to unlock the article). The app requires no subscriptions, no commitments, and no cash. 


While it might sound too good to be true, it’s simply a reconstruction of how you, as a reader, pay for your content. Most publications only allow you to pay through cash redemption (i.e., traditional subscription). Alternatively, Invisibly works with publishers to offer that content to you at just the cost of securely sharing information back to the platform – in ways you’re likely already doing and not being compensated for.

The Benefit of Taking Control of Your Personal Data

The idea of using data to access paywalled articles might be new and confusing. What data are you talking about? Where is it kept and is it secure? How does sharing it allow me access to things that otherwise cost money? You may be asking yourself these questions and many more.

When we talk about sharing your data, it simply means filling out a profile where you include basic demographic information (your age, occupation, where you live, etc.). It also means periodically answering short surveys on Invisibly’s platform. Those surveys could be anything from measuring your shopping habits to your sentiments towards certain products, to a more granular take on some of that demographic data. All surveys are optional, but the more questions you answer, the more points you accrue. Those points are all kept within your wallet in Invisibly and you can use them to redeem articles that are locked by paywalls elsewhere. Every article has a certain number of points associated with it, so you can consider it “cashing in” when you read a piece of paywalled content.


Invisibly is able to use your data to empower content access, because your data is truly worth something. Big tech makes millions off of customer data, from how Meta develops their audience segments to TikTok’s personalization algorithm. Invisibly believes that you, as the reader or consumer, should see some of the benefit of that value, not just the advertisers who get the uplift of more targeted audiences.

How To Trade Your Data for News Subscriptions

1. Sign Up For Invisibly 

News agregator mobile app with hand swiping on news articles

Download the app and set up an account on Invisibly. As mentioned previously, the profile set-up alone will give you points in your Invisibly wallet, which you can in turn use to access content that is paywalled elsewhere.


Once you’ve signed up, you can browse available content on Invisibly. There are thousands and thousands of articles to explore from publications like The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Us Weekly, Dow Jones, Men’s Journal, and scores of others. Better yet, they are all added to the app so you don’t need to keep a dozen tabs open to read all the content you want for no money out of your pocket.

2. Earn points by answering surveys, referring friends and more.

select paywalls of premium content to unlock

You can continue to earn points and unlock more content with several actions on the platform. There are short and long surveys available for you to take, which may have different point values associated with them based on the information and length of the questions. You can also earn points by referring friends to Invisibly. When they sign up, you’ll see more points added to your wallet.

3. Spend your points to access premium content.

Use those points to bypass paywalls. Never run into the scenario where you’re frustrated by a paywall again when you’re on Invisibly. If you ever hit the end of your points and can’t access content you want, all you need to do is re-up your points by taking more quizzes or referring others you know who are interested in all the content with none of the subscription stress

A New Way To Pay

There are several ways to get past soft paywalls and few ways to bypass hard paywalls. One thing is true though: Invisibly can help you sail through both, with an easy-to-use platform that aggregates your favorite publications all in one place. Never sign up for a subscription again when you use your data to pay for the content you want to see. Get started today on Invisibly.

Invisibly black logo


Use your data to access premium content you love.

More like this

How ChatGPT Is Affecting News Publishers

As digital media publishers, producing and sharing content with an audience is a critical part of a publication’s operation–but it doesn’t guarantee success...

5 Ways for Publishers to Increase News Distribution

As digital media publishers, producing and sharing content with an audience is a critical part of a publication’s operation–but it doesn’t guarantee success...

Proven Digital Content Strategy for Magazine Publishers

As digital media publishers, producing and sharing content with an audience is a critical part of a publication’s operation–but it doesn’t guarantee success...

Article Paywall Bypass: Trading Data for News Subscriptions

How to access articles from your favorite news publishers without having to gain access through hundreds of paywalls...

How To Get Around News Paywalls

How to access articles from your favorite news publishers without having to gain access through hundreds of paywalls...

The Path To Increased Publisher Subscriber Retention

Buying or consuming individual products seems more and more like an antiquated practice. In today’s world, consumer habits keep morphing and evolving into more of...