Ten years after newspapers started publishing their content online, the old debate still rages: To charge or not to charge:
"A big part of the motivation for newspapers to charge for their online content is not the revenue it will generate, but the revenue it will save, by slowing the erosion of their print subscriptions. We’re in the midst of a long and painful transition.”Also see
— Colby Atwood, vice president of Borrell Associates Inc.
Read entire New York Time article (reg. required).
It’s amazing how many people get ALL their news for free from the Web these days. (I ask my colleagues at work. Very few of them buy newspapers.) Somehow that does not seem like a viable business model...
Here’s a suggestion: if you want to charge people for online news, it shouldn’t be the same news that can be read for free elsewhere. The pay-per-view news must be truly exclusive.
So pay-per-view news must either be sold to a targeted audience who craves it (for example, exclusive interviews with important people, for readers with a special interest in this)… or local-area news (which are important to readers who live there, but not to the world.)
You see the problem here: The NY Times does not deal with local news. And it doesn’t have a high quota of exclusive interviews. The paper’s identity will be its undoing.
However… if it transmogrified into “The NEW YORK Times”, a local newspaper for the New York area… then it might very well thrive.
Just a suggestion...