Friday, May 29, 2009

Keeping Publishing Viable ...

Execs from the nation’s leading newspapers companies have been meeting to try to figure out how to salvage their industry. One of the main issues they’ve reportedly been discussing is how to charge for online content. While that might seem fair from a business standpoint, the odds are against it working. The horse is already out of the barn on this one. As some suggest, there may be other models of getting revenue for content delivered digitally that would be more palatable to consumers. Here are a couple of recent suggestions:

Getting Money from Readers Who Won't Pay for Online News – by Steve Outing, Editor & Publisher, 5/20/09 ... Comments on the potentially suicidal efforts by some publishers to begin charging for content on their websites. The alternative proposed here sounds a bit like a different spin on the public television membership model. Short of a formidable, accompanying grant/endowment structure, I'm not sure that would work by itself, but it's an intriguing suggestion.

A Potential ‘Solution’ for the Newspaper Industry: Follow the Cable TV Model of Subscription Access. Here’s Why and How – by Paul Bermel, Editor & Publisher, 5/15/09 ... This seems like a sound idea that I’m surprised more people aren’t embracing. Maybe I’m missing something.

Top Magazines Explore iPhone Apps Online Clubs, Other Revenue Streams –, 5/26/09 ... This one highlights the need to focus on monetizing mobile access and enhancements (i.e., applications), rather than trying to get people to pay for web access to content they’re used to getting for free.

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