Comments on: The year of the newspaper paywall Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: theloreli Mon, 09 Jan 2012 12:39:07 +0000 I’m boycotting the I use Google news to look for other sources, that’s how I found this newspaper.

By: Eric93 Sun, 08 Jan 2012 17:12:39 +0000 An interesting but overly long article that misses the point: namely, this is a ‘pay-as-you-go’ world now. I, for one, would be willing to pay for what I want to read on an article-by-article basis just as I pay for my mobile phone calls and Skype calls on a minute-by-minute basis. Instead of doing the smart thing and offering such a pay-as-you-go option for their content, the media giants tried to play their old game of ‘teaser’ content plus the bundle- said bundle containing desired content plus undesired content. If they did the pay-as-you-go model they would see the statistics of what people want (ie desired content) versus what they don’t want and could then on working to improve and create more desired content. Then if enough ‘undesireables’ started whining about missing their type of content then specialty rags would start up to address that need. That’s how business works folks. Duhhhh….

By: winc06 Sat, 07 Jan 2012 23:59:28 +0000 Articles with this subject come up fairly often, but one aspect that bothers me is never mentioned and it is the apparent greed of the online charges. Traditionally newspapers have cited the cost of newsprint and ink as the reason to raise the price of a single issue or a subscription. My former west coast newspaper added insult to injury by giving a cheaper subscription price if you threatened to cancel. With a digital subscription, there are none of those costs – no paper, no ink, no warehouse, no distribution costs including wages, street corner boxes, trucks, and so on. Unfortunately digital subscriptions are priced like paper subscriptions with a big windfall of savings pocketed by a newspaper who sees the digital subscriber as the golden goose. I would be willing to pay a fair subscription price to a digital newspaper, but I don’t want to feel like someone’s fool unless I also get to deduct the subscription as a charitable contribution on my taxes.

By: tmaxwel1 Sat, 07 Jan 2012 23:03:44 +0000 I would welcome the opportunity to pay a small amount for an article that I valued. A click spot at the end of the article is a creative idea. I think the same folks that are willing to pay for the pay wall would prefer to pay for the content they found useful/interesting/worthwhile/entertaini ng, which would in turn give rewards to those who create the content they value.

By: CaptnCrunch Sat, 07 Jan 2012 14:42:09 +0000 What an interesting and well spoken article Clay, thank you!

One revenue methodology never mentioned because it would rely on trust would be a little pay link at the end of every article.

“Did you like it? Then give us a to compensate the author and cover our expenses ”

I would have paid for the pleasure of reading this piece once I knew how well it was written.

By: Proxyariesman Sat, 07 Jan 2012 02:50:38 +0000 Every month I go over the NYTimes limit and then just turn to the various loopholes available to get around the paywall. I also do the same for FT. FT is a bit harder than NYTimes but it’s possible. I wont share how, will simply say hacking is not involved, anyone can do it. Even sites with absolute paywalls like JSTOR are rather easy to get around, and again, without having to hack. Again that’s all the info I will share.

In my opinion, companies like the Financial Times and NYTimes offer quality, over say something from Joe the Angry Blogger site. Even with Wikileaks, the information was raw, but news reporting on the raw information was needed as simply many people just don’t want to find themselves going through such large data packs. They rather have what is unique reported to them, without wasting the time to find it on their own.

I understand these companies need to pay their employees, and from that they need money to do so. The current model is set up where companies are best set with creating a paywall, but that’s the problem, it’s the current model. There needs to be a paradigm shift, a new model that changes the entire landscape of how journalist are paid for their content and how news companies earn revenue from that. There are a number of theories but probably the best out, or at least the freshest and most promising is creator-to-contract. I’m afraid I wont have enough room to go into detail here. But the paywall system is going to collapse because once 1 person has that information they can share it with friends and family rather easily who can also share it rather easily (legally or illegally.) But for now, bring them on, bring the paywalls about, once the sharing becomes problematic that is when the paywall bubble will burst. Maybe then creator-to-contract theory will emerge from the ashes of 20th Century business models.

By: WeWereWallSt Fri, 06 Jan 2012 23:04:40 +0000 This passage would have made a sobering lede:

“There has never been a mass market for good journalism in this country. What there used to be was a mass market for print ads, coupled with a mass market for a physical bundle of entertainment, opinion, and information; these were tied to an institutional agreement to subsidize a modicum of real journalism. In that mass market, the opinions of the politically engaged readers didn’t matter much, outnumbered as they were by people checking their horoscopes.”

We’re one of Mr Shirky’s “God Forbid” types, vis-a-vis Reuters and the NY Times, though we’ve found that we rarely get to the Times’s limit, so we’ve still got our “99 cents” promo subscription dosh in our pocket. We’re OK with no paper becoming too powerful, but we couldn’t imagine a world of equal noise by lots of sources if the big ones shatter.

By: Nullcorp Fri, 06 Jan 2012 19:04:08 +0000 In the age of Google News, why pay for content? If you’re interested in a story of any significance, it’s being widely reported. If you’re interested in opinion, well, no shortage of that online (cf. this comment). And if you’re interested in ads, ha, no shortage of those either.

Again, why pay for content when roughly equivalent content can be found elsewhere for free? The only way it would work is if every media outlet refused to offer content for free. The analog would be scientific journals, few of which have freely accessible digital content. You have to buy a subscription or pay per article. They have to do this because they don’t derive their income from ad revenue. Big Media does. Science journals also publish topical and meaningful niche content that can’t be found anywhere else and is sometimes critical to know for certain people. Big Media doesn’t.

When the NY Times can give $15 million to their CEO for not doing a very good job, I think it’s clear that Big Media needs this pressure. What will the outcome be? There are two potential ends of the spectrum. On one end, vapid content-free journalism that exists only to fill up the parts of the page not covered in ads. On the other end, lean and meaningful journalism supported entirely by readers who can’t get equivalent content anywhere else. We’ll see some of both.

If a local paper wants to charge when I read more than ten articles, it’s easy to go elsewhere. SF Gate, LA Times, NY Times, Seattle PI, BBC, Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, Der Spiegel. And Adblock completely nullifies the annoyance of advertising. They can keep serving those ads to non-paying readers, but nobody sees them. If nobody sees them, nobody will click on them, and advertisers will flee.

It really is a losing battle for Big Media. They have to change, they have to become something else that won’t be seen as a commodity, freely available elsewhere. And they have to stop relying on advertising to get their income. Ad-supported anything is a plague on our culture and it needs to go away.