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.

Filed Under: business models, charging, magazines, paywalls, time magazine
Companies: time

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  1. icon
    BobinBaltimore (profile), 1 Jun 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Good Business Model

    Interesting and definitely has merit, though all the UGC beatniks will crow about having to "pay to be engaged" being counter to the free-wheeling culture of the web, maaaaaaaan. I can see it in Wired now, right next to another glowing review of whatever Apple is overcharging for.

    On a more important front, I think there is too easy a tendency to equate "information" and "content." I agree that information is pretty much ubiquitously available. But content - which might be described as information placed in context, married with an editorial point of view, often coupled with images or video, usually fact-checked and placed in the visual proximity to other relevant data - is not. For example, I agree that the raw information related to the scandalous handling of General Motors' decline is available from a multitude of sources. But I don't have the time to piece all that together, draw some conclusions, package and check it. Those businesses (not bloggers and pressure groups) that do have time are not infinite in number...perhaps a few hundred that actually produce original content based upon available "information." Of those few hundred, only a subset publish reliably in English (my primary language). Of those, only a few dozen have an editorial approach that I can - worst - stomach or - best - enjoy. And of those, there are maybe three or four that I trust and wish to support with my eyes and dollars.

    In sum, information may not be scarce, but content (whether fiction, non-fiction, journalistic, editorial, graphical, etc) is DEFINITELY scarce, especially when personal criteria are included: my interests, language, politics, locality, etc.

    Again, I say, these are not academic discussions to be viewed in a vacuum, but real-life business questions which involve people with real habits, preferences and inclinations. All of this has to be taken into account. The devil IS definitely in the details.

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