Newspaper Experiments With New Paid Content Model
from the pay-up dept
As newspapers struggle to transform their business models for the internet, one model that doesn’t appear too promising is that favored by the New York Times, with its TimesSelect offering. The hope that it can charge extra for online access to its most popular columnists hasn’t earned the company a lot of money, while costing them valuable readership and influence. The Sacramento Bee will begin experimenting with a slightly different model, as it puts premium content about California state politics <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/29/business/media/29bee.html?ex=1327726800&en=16515693431ab9ec&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss”>behind an expensive $499/year paywall. The service will be marketed towards lobbyist firms, and other professionals with a vested interest in political issues. The above New York Times story discussing the Sacramento Bee’s strategy compares it to TimesSelect, but it actually seems a bit smarter. The paper isn’t going to put any existing content behind a paywall; instead subscribers will get extra content, along with early access to the paper’s articles, which for those who are involved in state politics could be very useful. There’s no reason a newspaper company has to limit itself just to a general news product. If it has a unique angle on an industry or something that can’t be replicated elsewhere, then it makes sense to offer more products that play to its strengths. At $499 it’s still going to have a tough time proving its value, but since the intended customers are mainly going to be businesses, that may not be as tough as it would seem.