Time Magazine May Join Newspapers In Committing Suicide By Charging Online

from the good-luck-with-that dept

So, say you're a general news magazine that's struggling to remain even remotely relevant in an internet era... what do you do? Apparently if you're Time, you think about charging. This isn't all that surprising, really, given that Time Magazine published that poorly thought out article arguing for micropayments for online publications. It just makes you wonder who these people are making these decisions and if they ever bothered to look at all of the attempts in the past to charge for such content online.

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  1. icon
    Sneeje (profile), 1 Jun 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Cost v. Value

    I would like to see the serious look they gave their potential market and which consumers they believe they can capture with the paywall.

    As an example (perhaps not a representative one), I have Time, CNN, WSJ, Techdirt, TLF, HBS, Wired, etc., etc., etc. on RSS. I have to be honest, while the Time articles definitely provide me a different slice of the information that feeds me, it really has a "meh" factor in comparison to all of the other things I read.

    Meaning, I believe very few people receive their information from only one source, and the type of consumer I think TIME wants probably receives their information from many and I think they also want to customize what they receive.

    So as long as any other good sources are available, any time a paywall goes up, I'll just switch. The perception that maybe this is just the way of the future (that eventually everything will be paywall) ignores two things--a) the more things are paywall, the more people will take an ala carte approach (which will tend to drive prices down to compete among paywalled information sources, IOW, significant growth limitations) and b) as long as there are viable business models that don't require paywalls, there will continue to be significant price pressure and subscriber churn.

    Both of the above are key elements (straight out of business school) that would undermine any successful approach.

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