Why newspapers are burning
I have never understood how the New York Times or any other publication could afford to give away their content for free.
News, features, editorials - professionally written, well-researched, dug up content which costs $1 a physical newspaper - all for nothing online.
Even if you think about the cost of printing paper v. digital information, it doesn’t make sense. It costs money to print on paper and have it delivered, yes. But it also costs money to host billions of bytes of rich audio, images and video.
Advertisers pay for it
If advertisers pay for it, what’s the missing link? They pay for online ads. They pay for print ads. Why do I get to read it for free online?
Focus on strengths
Organizations like the Wall Street Journal may also be suffering from the downturn in publishing, but they were smart and they knew that their content was premium. They remembered the reason they were in business was because of their content. NOT their advertising.
If you ride the subway, you’re familiar with the daily free newspapers in NYC. They are thin papers, full color and supported 100% by ads.
They started out with a focus on cheap journalism and big advertising. That is why they will continue to experience greater success.
Free newspapers are not the wrong model, but hand-delivery at the subway is also a very efficient method of getting the content out to the masses - and earning a damn good advertising buck doing it.
The only newspapers that packed up bags and left the arena were ones with “mass” content, not enough of an audience & those that never focused on their strengths.
And they treated it as such. They charged users for their content.
The New York Times realizes the same thing, just a bit too late. I would have gladly paid for an online subscription to the publication IF I WASN’T GETTING IT FREE ALL THIS TIME.
Now, will I pay for it if they decide to start charging for content? Probably not.
THINK before following trends. It makes sense for a blogger to give away content for free because s/he is not losing anything. They only have to gain. A great blogger will put in tons of effort on developing the right content and building an audience. S/he will be authentic and so forth, but they will have $0 overhead and no experience needed.
An established publication with thousands of readers worldwide needs to realize that if they start giving away the one thing people were paying for all these years - they’ll soon be in a place called insolvency.