More Newspapers Coming Around To Recognizing That Online Visitors Are Good

from the slowly-but-surely dept

A few weeks ago we pointed out that the Houston Chronicle had come to the bright conclusion (after years of folks saying it to them over and over again) that online registration was a net negative. It pissed off their users and drove them away. For those who did register, they often gave bogus information or used BugMeNot — which completely dilutes the purpose of having a registration system (to use the demographics to sell premium advertising). One by one, it seems other papers are figuring it out as well. The latest is the Toronto Star which is ditching their mandatory online registration system, admitting that having traffic is a good thing: “We believe that in order to be competitive in the online news and information space, growth of both audience and page impressions will be the cornerstone of our success.” It’s almost scary that it’s taken newspapers this long to recognize this simple fact.


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Comments on “More Newspapers Coming Around To Recognizing That Online Visitors Are Good”

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4 Comments
kenneth says:

Mandatory Not Needed, Sample

The newspaper business doesn’t believe much in statistical sampling (they are trying), they like an exhaustive sample. For their physical product, they count each and every paper. When the physical count goes up, it is good and down is bad. The problem is that readership, people actually reading, could drop while circulation, physical copies sold, goes up or vice versa.
Sampling for registration will give a very accurate picture of the audience. Then the site gets the info it needs and the vast majority of users get a pleasant experience.

Three Men In A Boat says:

Top News Story: Your Local Paper Is Doomed

Yes, it’s clear that people do not find the online content of newspapers compelling enough to pay for it, or even to go through mandatory registration that’s free. You have to admit that the newspapers’ frustration is understandable, given that their customers were willing to pay fifty cents for the dead tree edition of the newspaper.

But altho advertisers will pay for eyeballs, they will pay more for eyeballs which click on ads. The local newspaper is hamstrung in two ways then, because the local news is neither compelling nor juicy enough to bring the clicking eyeballs.
The local/regional newspaper, as an online concept, is not only merely dead, it’s really most sincerely dead.

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