from the just-get-it-over-with-already dept
It's difficult to think of anything to say to people who think these ways, other than "good luck." The real world doesn't believe in such limitations. If the newspapers collude and come up with a pricing scheme where the lowest option starts at $10 per month -- fine. Just go do it, and then let's see what happens. Because talking about it is getting pretty silly.
But here's my guess as to what happens:
- Smart news publications break off from the "charge 'em" pack and remain free and/or experiment with more creative business models.
- Traffic to the paywall sites drops to ridiculously low levels.
- Those sites realize that the revenue from subscriptions is a blip and barely noticeable.
- In removing much of the audience, those sites also lose pretty much all leverage with advertisers, and discover that their online ad revenue drops quite a lot as well.
- Meanwhile, remember those smart publications that didn't join in the suicide party? They're soaking up plenty of traffic, and working hard to provide more value to readers.
- On top of that, newer startups spring up to fill in the void left by the paywall crew.
- Smart journalists start jumping ship from the legacy papers behind the paywall to those who actually get them some public recognition (which are a lot more fun anyway).
- Without competition from, or the legacy business structures of, the paywall newspapers, the smarter publications start bringing in both audience and revenue (not all of it advertising).
- The paywall crew goes back to complaining to the gov't, though people start to wonder why they're still around, when there's so much useful journalism going out without paywalls.