Monday, February 09, 2009

How to charge for content. Theoretically.

Second of two parts. First part here.

It won’t be easy for publishers to overcome the Original Sin of giving away their valuable content for free. But it could be done. Theoretically.

The most logical way, as suggested prominently by David Carr in the New York Times and Walter Isaacson on the cover of Time Magazine, is some sort of micro-payment system.

Here’s how it would work: Consumers would use their credit cards to fund accounts to purchase online content through a single system deployed at the largest possible number of participating websites. We might call the system the Universal Simple Interactive Network, or UN-SIN for short.

Whenever a consumer wanted to watch a video, view a picture, listen to a podcast or read an article, she would click the UN-SIN button on the web page or mobile screen to authorize payment.

The amount of the charge would be up to the individual publisher but presumably would be kept to pennies, or even fractions of pennies, to encourage maximum readership. Consumers might not like being micro-nickled and nano-dimed for every article, but they would get over it, if the content were sufficiently compelling.

The problem with this otherwise-elegant solution is that UN-SIN wouldn’t work for one publisher if a competing publisher decided to provide the same, or nearly identical, content for free. If one publisher posted the score of a hockey game in the clear to gain traffic, then his competitors would have to do so, too. And the initiative would quickly collapse.

The other gotcha is that content would have to be secured so that someone who bought it could not turn around and provide it to a friend or, worse, publish it to the web in defiance of UN-SIN. Although this is a non-trivial technical problem, it already has been solved reasonably well by a number of companies.

I headed one such company, called SealedMedia, until the tech bust in 2001. Our technology was awesome, our system was effective and it was priced to appeal to even the thriftiest client. But only a handful of publishers were smart enough to put a priority on getting paid for their content. Today, they are doing quite well. So, I know this can work.

Because there is little hope of securing such generic news as breaking events, stock prices, election results and sports scores, the only content that publishers can sell in the immediate future is exclusive, premium content that they create themselves. A major hurdle in moving to pay content, therefore, will be cost-effectively producing enough of the right kind of content to get customers to click the UN-SIN button.

This is the approach the New York Times employed with TimesSelect, which briefly put its marquee columnists behind a pay firewall. The paper abandoned the program a couple of years ago in the hope it would generate more page views, and thus more banner ad revenues, by providing free access to the likes of Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd. Editor Bill Keller told readers last week that the financially pressed Times is revisiting the idea of getting paid for its content.

Although a specialized newspaper like the Wall Street Journal has successfully required payment for its articles, the widespread adoption of paid content among general-interest media would require a critical mass of publishers to agree to collaborate more earnestly, more broadly and more smoothly than any group of humans in history.

Could it happen? Theoretically.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, Alan? Micropayments and a newspaper cartel were he best you could come up with?

Luckily, such a cartel is impossible. Someone, maybe not a mainstream news org, but someone will always be there to fill the vacuum left by paywalls. So this Balkanization of the web that you propose will never happen.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..Giving away their VALUABLE content for free ? Until last year, I subscribed to the WSJ, the best newspaper I ever read or hope to read. But many days I never opened it because I was saturated from reading the web before the Journal arrived at 11:30 in the mail. As good as I still think the journal is, I'd spent all the reading time I had in the early morning before I started working. The valuable content was the same but it wasn't as valuable as my time. Might as well offer me another meal right after lunch.
..Nothing is going to change the fact that young folks...under 40...don't read newspapers. They don't buy them. The culture has changed and there aren't any chairs for newspapers to sit down on now that the music has stopped.
..I choose the articles I read based on the headline or titles I see at news compendiums such as Lucianne, or Real Clear politics. When the article is behind a firewall, even requiring something as simple as a login, I hit "back" and go elsewhere. The web is a giant smorgy and I don't have the patience or the time to read everything I even want to read, much less something that irks me to get to. I won't jump through any hoops and I know I'm not alone in this. The web is a glut of good articles and I'll try another I haven't read yet. This mitigates against the value of what you are trying to sell. There are more good articles than I'll ever find the time to read and I know that. Your "valuable" articles arn't worth the hassle of signing up for, or paying for, not even a mill or a mite.

9:27 PM  
Blogger -30- said...

My fear with this is what if your premium content isn't good enough? What if it can never be good enough.

What if I can get pithy, feel good stories at the "alternative weekly" and reviews from my friends on facebook. Breaking news from some guy on a boat on the Hudson with an iPhone and public domain information from Everyblock.

What would be left... and would it ultimately measure up?

9:35 PM  
Blogger Steve Outing said...

Alan, I normally like your ideas and love reading your blog. But what you're suggesting would be a disaster for most of those newspapers that try. And of course, as Tim points out, it's pretty much impossible to get the cooperation necessary.

But here's why the whole micropayments arguments put forth in recent days, and now repeated by you, are dead wrong:

The model is completely counter to the nature and culture of the Internet, which is about "us" (users) interacting and sharing with each other and other entities (including news publishers), not just "you" (publisher) pushing out your content. You (and Isaacson, Brill, et al) are pushing the old model of important publisher (content owner) dictating terms to the "recipient."

How about turning our thinking on its head? How about ceding some control to the user and equalizing the relationship? Recognize that the Internet is an exchange medium where both parties have power. Putting up a wall that says, "pay 5 cents or go away" will be about as popular as DRM. Note how iTunes finally got rid of DRM on its music sales, because it annoyed the hell out of users who wanted (legitimately) to easily listen to their music on multiple devices without pesky DRM barriers getting in the way. The market finally pushed enough, and the music companies came to their senses a bit, so the consumer is happy. When the consumer is happy, the company serving the consumer will be happy (and more profitable than when trying to hold back the tide).

The solution for news content on the Internet, which is a medium unlike any that precedes it, is most likely to appear when we stop thinking in the old ways. Forced micropayments as you suggest them is old thinking.

I haven't had a chance to read Jeff Jarvis' new book, What Would Google Do, yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I bet Google wouldn't waste time on the micropayments argument waging within the news industry if it put its corporate brainpower to work on this problem. Google understands the Internet; the news industry for the most part still does not.

No, I'm not offering a better solution at this moment; I'm suggesting that much of the thinking I've seen in recent days on the micropayments for content issue is mired in outdated thinking. Maybe everyone thinking about this problem needs to re-read Roger Von Oech's classic books on creativity (A What On the Side of the Head, et al).

Steve Outing

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The biggest problem I see is that I don't know whether an individual piece on any website is of any value to me until after I've read it/seen it. A pay-first policy, even if its micro-pennies, is asking me to take a chance.

The value with newspapers used to be in the bundle; without the bundle, identifying value shifts from the newspaper editor to the reader. Unfortunately, any system that captures that reality isn't one that a newspaper can build a reliable budget on.

10:02 PM  
Blogger jgfellow said...

Just a comment to say that I agree with the concept of micro-charging. I believe that some outlets, like NYT and WSJ are inherently better as evidenced by the large number of folks who still subscribe in Google Reader and such tools.

I'm sure that I would pay $0.005 to read each Krugman op-ed or WSJ editorial. Maybe the free competition will eventually win, but at some point folks like quality, even in the new culture.


10:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The other comments fairly well summed up my reactions to this post.

I did want to point out, however, that even the Wall Street Journal has not been successful in forcing readers to pay for its content. Both the Journal and its Magazine are available as RSS feeds through Google Reader.

Oops. Did I just give one more reason for newspapers to hate google?

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work at a major newspaper's web site and a couple of us had a discussion about this today.

The problem lies in the fact that the best newspaper web sites can't charge enough for advertising to EVER pay for the journalists that the paper version employs. With that, our little group came up with the same conclusion as Allan. There is simply no other way I can think of...

And for those of you who think that citizen journalists and guys with cell phones can tweet out a good story - there may be instances of that, but it would not work in the long term. News organizations are a necessary part of our democracy and hold our politicians and society to task. Yes, web organizations have contributed recently, but it took established news sources to pick up the stories and run with them. Citizen journos wont do it.

So, next time you're on any site (Google News, Yahoo, etc. etc.), look for the real source of the reportage: it probably came from a newspaper.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not leave the end consumer out of it and let the original news gathering organizations charge the secondary users such as Google, Yahoo and The Huffington Post? Why charge the end consumer when these money making operations are lifting content they didn't create?

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW: Did you know that in German UNSINN means nonsense? Or was the pun intended?

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan Simmonds (URL) said:Feb. 09, 9:21 PM Apart from referring to previous blogs posts/ comments at on this subject, I just wanted to try and look at this from a different and objective perspective, which is what I think has been missing from the debate:

Firstly, who says Google is always going to be the front window to all information...or any of the other names in the search environment either? I currently use iGoogle to amalgamate all my 'feeds' and bookmarks, but I was talking to one of our Famebook teccy's the other day and he has simply designed his own 'homepage', which is I imagine, if not now then soon, an option many might pursue from a seemingly impartial provider (as a download or service). At that point, Google or whoever simply become just a small search button in the corner!

Secondly this isn't really about monetising individual content items, as much as it is new and existing brands ring fencing their own quality environments and creating their own value for it by relevance and traction. You only have to look at the brilliant Samir's Glam Media to see it can be done right or conversely to some of the world's oldest newspaper brands who have let Google permeate their front pages and/ or business models and whose best efforts to sustain their core values have been to contract out their ad sales on a CPM basis via third parties.

In my opinion, the future will actually be about being the de facto destinations for types of content via a 'single window provider' and instead of the catastrophic effect of trying to charge to see the horse, when it has already bolted...which is what newspapers are doing, they need to be focusing on the roots of their industry...exclusive stories, focused articles, celebrity content etc. etc. I am certain that advertisers of household name brands will be equally glad of an opportunity to work their ad budgets within elegant environments and pay accordingly, as much as Google and Facebook and all the others alike, are equally totally incapable of offering one themselves!

As those that know us are well aware, that's what we are working towards! Jan CEO @famebook

1:27 AM  
Blogger J. Garland Pollard IV said...

I agree with you that folks might pay pennies for an article. Very often, there is an article I might pay for, but it is stuck behind a wall where you have to login with credit card and each article you see is $1.

Newspapers need to keep their newest stories behind a firewall, and give a free login to printed subscribers. It would anger me to no end if I were a major advertiser, who is paying the freight of the print edition, to then have to pay EXTRA for an ad online, or to see me subsidizing online, which is what is happening. Newspaper websites can easily publish abbreviated versions of the story for the web, reserving good content behind a firewall.

I also think newspapers should pull out of the AP; providing content so they can post it online too doesn't make sense.

If a newspaper had a small online staff that competed with its own print edition for news, that might even things out. That online staff would digest the printed news, and come up with its own. The print edition could then focus on making a paper folks would sit down and relax and read.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Howard Owens said...

Alan wrote, "Consumers might not like being micro-nickled and nano-dimed for every article, but they would get over it, if the content were sufficiently compelling."

What empirical evidence can you offer that this statement is true.

I can just as honestly assert that users will see the article requires payment and click away to something else to do or see or read on the web be done with your site, potentially forever.

One thing nobody ever talks about in the paid content debates is the cost of acquistion.

If newspaper content is so valuable, how come circulation directors pay anywhere from $60 to $120 (depending on market size) to acquire a single subscriber? How come people don't just flock to the newspaper to subscribe? Why must they be sold or given incentives to subscribe?

America has been losing interest in newspapers for 80 years. How is any payment scheme, including micropayments going to reverse that historical trend?

And remember, facts are cannot be copyrighted. There's nothing stopping a competitor from paying a penny for an article, scooping out the facts and republishing those.

No payment scheme I've seen proposed yet addresses the competition problem that newspapers will face from start-ups and television.

Alan, you're normally pretty sensible, but calling free content "the original sin" and saying newspapers should charge now is just completely bonkers. Sorry.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key to this whole argument, and to our whole dilemma is the phrase "if the content were sufficiently compelling."

If the content were sufficiently compelling, the free model would work a lot better, too.

More importantly, this is a core issue around which there has not been much discussion. At least I haven't seen much.

We're still creating pretty much the same content that newspapers were creating before World War II. We need to figure out what content we can produce that consumers need and know they need. I don't have the answer here, just a very good question.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the problem newspapers have with monetizing content is that newspapers forgot who their customers really are and what the mission of a newspaper is.

Newspapers serve advertisers. That's who pays for the content. Editorial content was the hook that--in the absence of alternatives--built a local audience that advertisers wanted to reach. Before TV and radio, well before the internet, the best way for advertisers to reach a large consumer audience was to advertise in newspapers. And even after the advent of broadcast media, newspapers will still the best venue for classified, real estate, and recruitment advertising around.

Newspapers were the Google of their era, locally and regionally. Their margins were (and still are, before debt service payments) insanely large. These margins allowed newspapers to indulge in expensive journalistic practices that may have helped, but certainly didn't hurt, their position as local ad-placement monopolies.

However, now that reaching a mass advertising audience is almost trivially cheap (and much more accountable), newspapers have lost their monopoly. The fundamental disconnect is that newspapers think that their product is editorial content and want to get paid somehow for it. But that was never the product they were paid for, so there's no reason it will carry the cost of expensive journalism now.

I'll stipulate that high quality journalism is a public good and it's a worthy thing to save--like the 40 hour work week and the bald eagle. But "newspapers" have never made money from journalism per se and they certainly won't by charging consumers for it.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My digital native daughter is a voracious news consumer--and she will never, ever pay for content. Digital Natives believe that content belongs to the consumer and smart companies must find another way to monetize it. Digital Natives believe that "if news is that important, it will find ME."

General news can NEVER be sufficiently compelling to pay a premium. There are too many news organizations covering the same stories from similar points of view.

The micropayment idea also troubles me in that something that costs that little can't possibly be worth anything. I would rather pay more for something really special and rare than pay pennies or fractions of pennies for something that is readily available. There's no sizzle there.

Those companies that have done best on the web are those who were web-first and web-only: Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. They did not try to cram a new technology into old models. They simply created new and better models. If we approach the audience on the web in the same way we do in other media we will fail. The web is consumed differently and is truly a disruptive technology.

Alan, I've been following your blog for several weeks and think you're right on in many areas. You've driven off the road on this one.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Does anyone else hear echo's of the Catholic church's arguments that the Gospel could only be interpreted by the church and not by lay people ? That worked fine until Gutenburg and Martin Luther.
..Almost ever discussion here includes someone who claims that newspapers and journalism are required for Democracy. Oh yeah ? You flatter your biases about that. Information is prerequisite, and the internet is information personified. Without the Church of Journalisms filter.

7:24 AM  
Blogger tom said...

Well targeted online advertising already pays a penny per page view, and that's without a paywall gumming up the works.

And you're thinking that charging a fraction of a penny with an extra paywall click will somehow do better?

Sorry, ain't happening.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A simpler way to tackle this issue might be for content sources to set up their own aggragator site and charge a weekly or monthly fee to access all the stories. Then, news outlets could be paid per click on their individual articles.

Like someone mentioned, I'm not likely to sign up for a website, then pay for each individual article at a dollar or more apiece. But I would pay for a comprehensive service that covered national and local issues, especially if the price were roughly equivalent to a newspaper subscription.

And the service wouldn't have to include every newspaper in the country, just a solid representative sample. For example, it the New York Times joined such a consortium, would I really feel cheated if the Post and Daily News opted out? I might be but probably not.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Content was the product that brought the consumer in, attracting the advertiser. Newspapers were not the "google of their day" - yes they ran AP and UPI, but also did unique contnent. Google does none of that. I don't think micropayments will work. But the idea that the web is going to be "a smorgy" is coming to an end because the content creators are dying out and all that is left is on the table is the cauliflower heads and rubbery sliced carrots of blogs who do none of their own reporting but just riff off the work of journalists. Jeff Jervis is selling a world of citizen journalism and communities of interest that will wilt like those crudites without the work of MSM.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Secondly this isn't really about monetising individual content items, as much as it is new and existing brands ring fencing their own quality environments and creating their own value for it by relevance and traction."

And don't forget to leverage your techno-societal synergies against the age-specific expectations of the emerging market paradigm.

One of the funniest independent clauses I've read this year.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So, next time you're on any site (Google News, Yahoo, etc. etc.), look for the real source of the reportage: it probably came from a newspaper."

I just went to Google News and didn't have to look hard to find out the real source for the stories, it says what they are right next to the headline. Should I have been shocked that when I clicked the link for the story from The Washington Post that I actually ended up inside the Post website at the very story whose headline I had just read at Google?

Ooohhh, evil Google: How dare you drive traffic to the sourcing website.

Still, I applaud Alan's concept of newspapers banding together in a cabal intent on fixing prices for news content. Why? Because the real future of news will emerge more slowly with all of those old purveyors gumming up the works. Such an organization, for all but a few, will be the equivalent of a suicide pact.

Once they are gone -- and hopefully the box-brained dolts who run them -- then there may be room not just for new concepts but also for investment in those so they can grow to fill the gap. Maybe it won't be journalism at the beginning, but if there is demand for such a thing then something will grow to meet that need.

I have despaired of newspapers figuring out the future. I work for one and see them carving away at their supposed best asset (the content creators) on an almost daily basis in order to preserve profit margin. They people I work for are remarkably resistant to any new ideas that don't fit their preconceptions of newspapers or news. As a result, most newspapers aren't going to survive in any relevant form even with this micro-payment/firewall scheme (because they aren't about content or customers, they are about profit). Alan's concept, should it gain wide acceptance, might just be the gun in the mouth we all need. Sure it will be messy and I would prefer to avoid the mess (most of my co-workers and I will lose our jobs). But that mess is already being made. So let's just get it done.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave D.

I went to and guess what?
All of their content is from Bricks and Mortar newspapers. If they stop posting it you will stop being able to read it.

Message to publishers, "Stop giving slugs like Dave D (who does not even appreciate it) your content."

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As is usual on this site, Mr. Mutter's original article is far more intelligent than the comments ... mine probably included.

I'm writing in this time to comment on Howard Owens' comments. Even though I strongly agree with Mr. Mutter and strongly disagree with Mr. Owens, at least he isn't anonymous.

The one weak point of this site is allowing anonymous postings or obvious pseudonyms. Mr. Mutter, I wish you would do away with them.

Mr. Owens says: "I can just as honestly assert that users will see the article requires payment and click away to something else to do or see or read on the web be done with your site, potentially forever."

I say: if many sites start charging as I think they should, what would you click away to?

Mr. Owens says: "America has been losing interest in newspapers for 80 years. How is any payment scheme, including micropayments going to reverse that historical trend?"

I say: In a direct sense, that's absolutely true ... newspapers have been losing readers for decades. Yet they are more popular than ever as it is their articles that serve as the starting point for most, if not all, the discussion on the Internet.

Mr. Owens says: "And remember, facts cannot be copyrighted. There's nothing stopping a competitor from paying a penny for an article, scooping out the facts and republishing those.

I say: Commonly known facts can't be copyrighted but original material can be. Yes you can stop a competitor from republishing it ... you sue his butt off.

Mr. Owens says: "No payment scheme I've seen proposed yet addresses the competition problem that newspapers will face from start-ups and television."

I say: Come on now. The WSJ has an article today on how local TV stations are floundering ... the last thing they'll want to do is start up a money-losing web site. Startups? I'd never say never but a cheapo operation doesn't have much of a shot against a long-established newspaper franchise with many experienced people. An all-local newspaper web site would be a monopoly in all but the largest metro areas.

Mr. Owens says: "Alan, you're normally pretty sensible, but calling free content "the original sin" and saying newspapers should charge now is just completely bonkers. Sorry."

I say: Mr. Owens and his cohorts are the ones who are bonkers. Almost all newspapers seem to agree with Mr. Owens ... and guess what, they're going straight down the tubes with that philosophy. If I were a newspaper publisher, I would pay attention to Mr. Mutter, Steve Brill and other people who 1) have a brain, 2) are well qualified by experience, 3) are alarmed at the prospect of papers going out of business and journos being thrown permanently out of work, and 4)are guided by common sense in asserting that papers should start charging for their web sites.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Steve Outing said...

If anyone is still listening in on this comment thread, I offered a better solution to the tired micropayments/charge-for-content arguments in my latest Editor & Publisher column:

Forget Micropayments — Here’s a Far Better Idea for Monetizing Content

Steve Outing

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your main point. Content that is effectively being given away (or stolen in some cases) will have to be paid for in the future or there will be a shortage of content.

Personally, I like the WSJ's subscription model. I'm a recent convert and I love the combo subscription of print and web.

Unlike Dave, I receive my WSJ on my driveway very early in the morning (I live on the West Coast and maybe that makes a difference?) and find I can read and scan the paper faster than reading it online. I use the web version to forward or print out stories I want to share and sometimes one of the WSJ newsletters I subscribe to will link me to a story I missed in the printed version.

Content is the key. If the paper or web site has well written exclusive content people will read it. As for young people, even teenagers read our local weekly because it covers all the high school sports like no one else.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Decius said...

Micropayments don't work. They didn't work 10 years ago and they won't in 10 years.

Why? Because I should pay for something that I might or might not find worth the money. Unfortunately I only find out if it was worth _after_ I've read it. I often open up articles that I might find interesting by reading the headline or the first sentence, but after a paragraph I see that it is boring or uninteresting or simply wrong. I close it. Now with Micropayments I've just wasted money (not much maybe but I read dozens of articles a day so it adds up) for nothing.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Racoon said...

Boy! Plenty of opinions here (I must remember to remind myself that there's a 1:1 ratio between opinions and sphincters).

'Small town publisher' and 'Gerry Storch' hit the nail on the head.

Unfortunately, some young'uns seem unconcerned with the future of news, as if it's "automagically" produced by their keystrokes, mouse clicks or thumbprints. Well, I've got news for them: that's not where news comes from.

Their ill-informed view is VERY disconcerting to me, a 57-year old first introduced to newspapers in suburban Chicago via the comic section, especially Buck Rogers. As I grew, I became more adventuresome and remember voraciously reading the days of coverage following RFK's assassination; it was a riveting story of much import.

I, too, believe newspapers must extract the value of their brand and stop posting it for free; if that takes a "cartel", then so be it.

I would however suggest an alternative way to deliver newspaper content other than by the Internet. The technology is there, right under our noses. Anybody got a clue? I didn't think so.

Thanks for stirring up the topic, Alan! This has been the best discussion in the two years I've followed your work.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Well I finally agree with T. Heller about something, News isn't automagically produced by the web consumers. No, It's got to be made up by the " journalist " at those news factories we call newspapers. I go there in vain looking for who, what,where,when,and how. But these journalists want to give me WHY. They want to so badly that they often leave unanswered the first five questions while they weave their narrative.
.."The value of their brand " ? Folks flee in droves from paying for the value of their brand. Scads and heaps have abandoned newspapers, and you want to invent a new way to charge for that which has been rejected. A " Pay me now and I'll show you what's behind the curtain ", peep show kinda business plan.
..I paid to see the two headed baby; once. I wouldn't pay again. A business plan that requires a steady supply of naive and gullible folks can't work for a newspaper.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, when a suggestion is made that news-content creators charge for their products, they're called a "cartel."

But when Cable TV providers sling us 500-channel hash when we'd prefer a filet of 12 channels, people gladly pay $720-$1,200 a year -- and think that TV is free!

Micropayments are too messy -- Charge me one annual fee to access the best 100 content Web sites. Charge me a little less to access the next-best 100; and a little less for Nos. 201-300.

Let the remaining "free" sites then fend for themselves, because no one will be using them.

This plan would, of course, require establishment of a cartel. So be it.

I'll pay $106.87 a year -- my monthly bill for "free" TV.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a journalism student, all this doom and gloom is devestating. Journalism is a job I have wanted to do since a child.

I think one of the major issues in this debate is that young people are not reading newspapers (it seems that revenues are just scrapping it at newspapers now because of the old folk still habitually buying the rags) - so why not give out free newspapers to young people? Focus on places the under 40s work, hang out, live etc. Get a culture of reading local newspapers back. Think of the future.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

wasn't SealedMedia bought by some company and eventually sold again to Oracle?

in any case, i can't imagine surfing and being constantly interrupted paying for content. kind of an absurd idea, i think.

community-supported media is the only model i see working.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, that's 2003-stuff!

3:45 PM  
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12:35 AM  

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