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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?
Paid content, which many online publishers left for dead when advertisers were throwing money at anybody breathing, is back in fashion.
Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Big publishers, such as the New York Times, are revisiting the model. And 'content entrepreneurs' who less than a year ago touted 'free' are now singing 'fee'.
Everybody has accepted that the newspaper industry is in real trouble. The debate is now what newspapers can do to survive and rebuild for the internet era we live in.
Paid content seems like one of the most immediate possible solutions for stemming declining print and advertising revenues but paid content isn't easy for a number of reasons.
It's commonly accepted in the online publishing world that internet users don't like ads. While 'hate' might be strong word, it's hard to argue that advertising is an internet user's best friend.
For publishers relying on ads to pay the bills, that usually means one thing: striking an appropriate balance. Enough ads to pay the bills, not so many ads that your users 'hate' you.
Let's not let Time Warner off the hook too easily on its semi-paid content experiment. Some of what EVP John Squires announced to the press last week made a lot of sense, some of it was purposefully vague, and some of it needs translation.
Let's get to the translation first. Squires said TW will start to experiment with paid content because there "was too much ad inventory online." Translation: "Yes, we have an ad network in-house (Platform A) but it is not able to provide the CPMs we're looking for. We're having a hard time finding advertisers who will pay a reasonable amount of money beyond the home pages and story starts for most of our brands."
It's funny the difference a couple of years can make. Two years ago, the global economy was roaring along and everyone was excited about internet advertising.
Growth in spend was strong and many companies big and small saw unlimited potential in their future advertising revenues.
That the newspaper business is ailing isn't exactly news. With some newspapers closing altogether and others doing what they can to deal with still-declining revenue, it's clear that the newspaper industry needs to adapt.
The internet is increasingly the medium that newspapers are turning to as they try to adapt but it's not a quick fix.
Yesterday I discussed how The New York Times is looking to subscriptions or some form of paid content once again to help it weather not only a tough economy, but a dire financial situation brought about by declining print revenue.
Paid content can be a great business model but it's not always easy to pull off, especially when you've been giving your content away for free. After all, why would someone start paying for something you were giving them at no cost just a week ago?
Facing the worst financial situation in its history and being challenged to produce more revenue from its increasingly important digital ventures, The New York Times is revisiting a tried and true business model: charging people for content.
Despite the fact that NYT abandoned its TimesSelect subscription service in September 2007, New York Times Editor Bill Keller told the audience at a Q&A panel that "The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won’t pay for content...Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for."