Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Funding the newspapers online

There are repeated rumours that many of the newspaper sites will soon have to operate by subscription. [ See article in The First Post by Harry Underwood ]

On one hand I have sympathy with the idea of paying for what you use, but on the other I don't want to be tied to subscription to just one paper ( and I won't be buying more than one - if that ).

I also think the MSM might find its not as important online as it likes to think it is. Much of the news could be conveyed by others or directly from the agencies.

People like Yahoo and Google. Reuters and AFP. Even bloggers and political parties ( whom would love to achieve a higher footfall on their sites ).

This risk of failure for the papers is high.

Can I suggest a different model then. That in the same way rail income is allocated between operators a newspaper annual passport subscription is sold, but the papers get money in proportion to where these passport holders spend their time. An industry association would need to administer it, but it would keep that new stand decision and independence that customers value.

All I can say to the MSM guys is get this wrong and you'll be writing blogs for free in your spare time whislt doing another job also ....

Any other ideas ? Or should the dead tree press just follow the dinosaurs ?


Von Spreuth said...

Seeing the amount of readers comments from people not in Britain for British news papers, they MAY be cutting their own throats. Who in Singapore, or France, unless they are "expats" are going to bother subscribing?

If that was the case, due to the drop in "hits" they can FORGET their advertising revenue.

Fausty said...

Why not just a simple pay per view? Why make it bureaucratically expensive?

Barking Spider said...

I realise they are in trouble but surely this would only make their bad situation worse!?

Man in a Shed said...

What I worry about is tied subscriptions. I understand people need to be paid, but I'd rather they were paid for what I wanted to read and didn't think they had a captive audience.

The MSM is in a real bind - and I'm not sure there is a good route out of it for them.