Factiva CEO Says All Online Content Will Cost Money In Two Years

from the wait-a-second... dept

Factiva’s CEO is predicting that all online media companies will charge for access within two years. I think this is highly unlikely. She claims that consumers have been trained to think that online content has no value, since they’ve been getting it for free for so long. She’s wrong. Online content has value. That’s why people pay for internet access – to get access to all that internet content. The fact that they don’t specifically pay her is a business model issue that she needs to work on. But, trying to charge people for basic news online is very difficult. There are so many other sources that will produce the same content that there’s no way all news sources will charge. Unless a content provider offers vastly differentiated news (such as the Wall Street Journal), they will find themselves in a competitive market where the price gets driven back to zero – or they’ll simply go out of business. What the media providers need to realize is that the content has to be part of the pull for other value added services that people pay for. Business customers pay for Factiva (and, similarly, for Techdirt Corporate Intelligence) because they provide additional, useful services above and beyond the content (in Factiva’s case the searching, sorting and alerting – in Techdirt’s case, the sorting, finding, archiving, summarizing, and most importantly the analysis). The content is just a commodity.

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Comments on “Factiva CEO Says All Online Content Will Cost Money In Two Years”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Um… isn’t it just a little bit narcissistic to say that Techdirt corporate customers subscribe most importantly for the analysis? I mean, as an individual user, I usually just skim over whatever rant has been appended to the story and click link. The link-finding aspect is the only thing that’s valuable to me – I couldn’t care less about the opinion and spin one guy puts on it…

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

I’m talking about the corporate intelligence side, not the public Techdirt.com, which is quite different in terms of what we say and how we say it. And, obviously, not everyone reads the site for the same reasons. As I mention in the post, there are a number of different reasons why our corporate clients find the service useful – sometimes it’s just one of those factors, and sometimes it’s the combination of them all.

I’m glad you enjoy the links, but time and time again, our corporate clients have made it clear that the analysis is what makes our service worthwhile to them. I’ve also heard from any number of readers of the public site who also enjoy the commentary. To each, his or her own, I guess…

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