Posted September 22, 2009 12:10 am by with 4 comments

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Pay for ContentSo the big guys like Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller have already told us that paid content for newspapers is the wave of the future. Of course, when these two titans of the media world say jump the rest of us mere mortals are supposed to enthusiastically yell “How high?!” While, these guys have been right more often than not the rest of their industry peers aren’t so sure about paid content being the best things since colored ink for the newspaper industry.

The Center for Media Research is reporting

According to a survey conducted for the American Press Institute, reported in Media Buyer/Planner, more than half of newspaper publishers believe readers will pay to access online newspaper content. 51% of publishers say they believe they can successfully charge for content, while 49% either aren’t sure or believe paying for content will not work.

So half of the these folks say they believe it can happen which is not quite the same as saying that it is definitely the way to go and that the industry will be saved. The following bit if data from the survey shows just how out of touch this group may be over all though.

68% of publishers said they thought that, even if readers object to paying for content, they would have a difficult time finding that information in other places, while 52% said they thought it would be either very easy or somewhat easy for readers to find replacement content.

Hard to find information elsewhere? We’re talking about the Internet, right? There are always options.

There’s more in the details and, of course, it’s more fun to talk tough than to be tough.

  • 58% of publishers said they are considering charging for content
  • 49% said they have no timetable in mind for how that will play out

Right now we are in the all talk phase of this next generation of newspapers and everyone can sound ready to go but who will be the first to really make the move and step out as the guinea pig? That is the online equivalent of ‘breaking through to the other side’ or ‘walking the plank’. There will be no halfway reactions on this subject, so who will have the stones to be the poster child for paid content? Any thoughts?

  • I think people will pay for news when its quality and not quantity. Why would they pay for the same republished news from TT, Reuters etc. In some cases they even rewrite the news they get from those services which is just lame.

    I’m willing to pay for serious stuff not the usual crap u find on newssites coz that u can find everywhere.
    In depth stories, investigative journalism etc is what I want.

  • Some people will pay for brand value news — news from resources they feel can dig deeper, report more thoroughly, and stay on top of breaking trends.

    Most people will not pay for rehashed news.

    If the news industry switches to online subscription models they will find other people willing to provide quality news without subscriptions. A speculative online news industry will spring up. The resources are already there for people to create functional news sites without having to hire news rooms or rely on RSS feed mashups.

    I speak from experience. When the journalism industry let thousands of journalists go, some of those journalists banded together to create new reporting bureaus that are independent of the major media companies. Having worked with one of those new companies, I know they can provide a quality service that will bring in readers.

  • I had an interesting micro payment experience the other day. A plugin for a photo editing tool I use had expired. All I had to do to reactivate the plugin was to make a minimum $1 donation to the creator of the plugin.

    That sounded fair enough to me.

    When I got to the donate page he had some nice, brief sales copy that said something like, “Thanks for being willing to donate to my plugin. I do updates a lot. While you can donate as little as a dollar, if everyone donated $15 for the plugin that would allow me to spend more time on it and make it even better. Your donation gives you a lifetime right to use this plugin and all of its updates.”

    So, since I had to pay anyway, I decided to give the guy $15.

    I think if these newspapers can just get people to put their credit card into the system then they are largely home free.

    Do you know how many times I buy a $3 on demand movie from Amazon just on a whim? It’s SO easy.

    So, your credit card is entered into the system. You read their articles all the time. Then, something REALLY cool comes out. If you want to read it you just have to click this one little button and pay $3. I think you’d be surprised how many people would do it.

    People aren’t genius masters of their money. They are just lazy.
    .-= Sage Lewis´s last blog ..Drunk Discount Sale =-.

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