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 @ 9:28am

    Re: Good Business Model

    Don't know if I should bother here, but the point is to charge for the "scarcity" - something not readily available or in infinite supply. Your examples of gas and train tickets do not apply because they are scarce goods with limited supply. Information is generally in infinite supply and it is fungible across many formats and channels.

    The point isn't free or not free, it's building a business model around the things you do better than anyone else, not just access to information (which is easily duplicated and provided by others). And, BTW, focusing on the things you do better than anyone else has been the standard approach to business models for all time.

    So, for example, what if your news stories were free, but the ability to comment was not--and the paper gave editorial page access to those who were most active on the website and whose comments were viewed and responded to most often? Now I have a reason to pay, I get to be part of a community that influences the paper's content--something scarce, and something news stories aren't anymore.

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