Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Charging for what?

NYT has announced that starting next year they will charge for the content on the website. It will be free for a number of articles and then for the full access they will charge a certain amount of subscription. The people who already subscribe to the print edition will have free access to the website. As you may have seen my post before, what is the newspaper charging for. They have already done it before without much success. News is news anywhere. It is the perspective from an individual point that makes it readable. I read several news website each day and the news is always the same, it is the way it is presented and the analysis that makes it unique. Unless you can create a unique news (maybe a fake one), people will simply go to another site for the news and maybe check out the TV news segment.

Well the people will say that the WSJ and FT also charges. But they really make it a unique experience and even there I read enough articles for free that I don’t need to subscribe to their newspaper or the website. I believe this experiment of charging will fail or will have limited success. The times have changed and people have been so used to reading the news for free on the web that it would be hard for the newspapers to sustain this model. Maybe there can be a combination of both subscription and advertisement supported website, but there also it will be a long shot.

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