While other newspapers like the New York Times grapple with how to charge readers for content online, the Wall Street Journal stands out as one of the few newspapers that doesn't have to deal with such issues.
Unlike many other newspapers, the Journal didn't drink the 'content just wants to be free' kool-aid. When it seemed like advertisers had an unlimited amount of money to throw around, the Journal stuck to its guns and ironically, has managed to have its cake and eat it too. Its ad sales are healthy and the mixed model it employs has apparently proven to be the secret sauce.
By just about any reasonable measure, The Economist is doing pretty darn well for a magazine. As the print world frequently looks to be in a state of perpetual implosion, The Economist stands out as one of the print publications that's not only surviving, but thriving.
While struggling print publications like The New York Times mull a paid content strategy from a position of desperation, The Economist is going paid from a position of strength.
There's a lot of talk about newspapers charging for their content
online but quietly, something interesting is happening: the very blogs
that are usually associated with 'free' are dipping their toes in the
waters of paid content.
In the tech blogosphere, TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb sell reports.
GigaOm has a subscription service. Add to that list Ars Technica, which has launched a new subscription service dubbed Ars Premier 2.0.
Duncan Riley is founder and editor of The Inquisitr, a popular blog that has grown to around 3m page impressions in little more than a year. He also founded The Blog Herald back in 2002, and was a co-founder of the b5media blog network. He has also written for Techcrunch.
As such he knows a thing or two about blogging and I thought I'd catch up with him to find out how he thinks the blogosphere has evolved in the past few years, and where things might be heading in the future.
There's a lot of talk about paid content these days for obvious reasons and there's only going to be more of it now that Rupert Murdoch has announced plans for News Corp. to go all in.
One of the reasons there's so much debate over paid content is that there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about paid content. As someone who has run paid content websites for years, I thought I'd share the five biggest paid content myths I frequently hear mentioned in discussions about paid content.
Commentators have queued up to tell Rupert Murdoch that his plan to
charge for online content is wrong. But I think it's obvious that he
Murdoch's got the will to charge, access to value-add content, and has
a lot of experience selling subscription products in the UK. The question is not whether he can charge - it's whether his competitors can match his content and experience.
Newspaper publishers want the best of both worlds. They want the traffic that Google can deliver, but also think that the search engine owes them something. Specifically: “A fair share of the revenues being generated through the commercial exploitation of our content”.
Well, newsflash: Google owes the newspapers nothing. And now it has openly told the newspapers how to block web pages from the search engines by using the robots.txt no-inclusion protocol. If they want to, that is. There’s a barrier for those who want it. Now put up, or shut up.
Of course this isn’t new to anybody, but Google’s stance, as paidContent puts it, “effectively raises a middle finger to the 169 signatories to the Hamburg Declaration on Intellectual Property Rights, including Dow Jones managing editor Robert Thomson and News Corp Europe CEO James Murdoch”.
It’s going to be interesting to see if even one of those 169 signatories, or any other major newspaper, is actually brave, dumb and ballsy enough to take Google up on its offer. What’s the betting? I’ll wager that not one of them will go ahead with this.
Paid content and subscription services are hot once again thanks to an economic downturn that has reminded online publishers that ad revenues are not impervious.
But paid content isn't easy online (newspapers can attest to that) and many publishers inevitably fail at making the transition from free to paid. Here are several ways you can boost your chances of succeeding when selling content online.
Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, is a poster child for 'new media'. But a poster child does not an expert make.
On stage at AllThingsDigital's D7 conference, she made one of the most ill-informed comments I've heard in a while: subscriptions are only a good idea for porn sites.
Like so many others, you've decided to revisit your business model and paid content looks awfully good at the moment. Running an online subscription service can be very rewarding, but it's tough.
One of the challenges posed by a paywall is the paywall's impact on SEO. Since content is restricted to subscribers, Google can't spider your content. What can you do about this?