New Denver News Startup Discovering (Again) People Aren't So Interested In Paying For News

from the let's-try-this-again... dept

While we thought it was great that a group of former reporters from the suddenly-closed Rocky Mountain News were trying to form a new online venture called the InDenver Times, we thought it was quite unlikely that the group would actually be able to get 50,000 people to agree to pay them $5/month by April 23rd. That was the self-appointed deadline set by the group. And, in fact, as we approach the 23rd, Romenesko alerts us that the group is is struggling to even find 10,000 people willing to subscribe. That isn't too surprising. There remain other (free) sources of news, and they're trying to get people to agree to pay for a product that doesn't even exist. The fact that they've got almost 10,000 is impressive enough. That said... while the group still clings to the idea of a subscription model, they're also saying that they'll move forward even without the necessary subscribers. Hopefully that gets them exploring more reasonable business models, because $50,000 a month from subscribers isn't going to go very far.
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Filed Under: denver, journalism, news, paying
Companies: indenver times

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Fark Did It

    Fark gets more than 50k people to give them 5 dollars a month... and I am one of them. Why would you pay 5 dollars for a news aggregation site that is already available for free everywhere else?

    It's not for the news.

    Absolutely. Fark has figured out the magic of the Internet: aggregation is (much) more valuable than content creation. Google knows this. Slashdot knows this. Techdirt knows this.

    How much of that $250,000 a month goes to the news sites that Fark links, or the people who actually create the content on those sites? Oh, $0.00, right. Yes, they throw traffic to the content creators and hosters, but will that sustain them? It doesn't look like it will sustain the newspapers.

    Although you're correct that people don't come to Fark PRIMARILY for the news, it's disingenuous to imply that Fark doesn't need the news. If I flipped a magic switch tomorrow and blocked all outbound links from Fark to articles, I'm betting the number of TotalFark subscribers would drop precipitously in short order.

    As more and more people figure out that there's no money in content creation and gold in the streets in aggregation, what's going to happen to content creation?

    It could go blog journalist style, where content is created in an ad-hoc manner. It could go ProPublica style, where some wealthy philanthropists subsidize it out of something else that makes real money. Or, my guess, the aggregators will pay for it (again), just like they did the last time.

    The difference between hobbyists, philanthropists, and aggregators is that only one of those needs a steady stream of news to continue making money. Since that one is the aggregators, I assume they'll end up paying for the news, one way or the other, eventually.

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