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What the future of news online looks like has a lot to do with payment models. As publishers push ahead with their plans to go from 'free' to 'paid', how consumers are asked to pay for news content will play a significant role in determining which publishers succeed and which fail.
Despite lots of talk about micropayments, a newly-released paidContent:UK/Harris Interactive poll found that over half (53%) of British consumers would prefer to purchase a subscription to their favorite news site.
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.
Consumers don't like paying for anything online. This is especially true when it comes to younger consumers. Common knowledge, right?
Wrong. Just ask myYearbook, a second-tier social network that caters primarily to teens. It has managed to do something many other social networks haven't: turn a profit. And it's done it by charging its supposedly frugal Gen Y users.
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 can charge.
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.
Much has been said about newspapers looking more fondly at the possibility adding a paywall to their precious content so 'bloggers stop stealing it' and Google 'stops being a vampire'.
Almost all of the arguments centre around what the business side of this decision is. While that is important, the reaction of the public matters much more.
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.
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.
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."