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
    Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Jun 2009 @ 11:17am

    Re: Just more...

    ...of the TechDirt ubiquitous "non-free is bad/stupid/dumb/inane...now it's 'suicide.'" Look, if a content producer has something of sufficient value and interest to its consumer population (maybe not you, but some consumers somewhere) then it might just work fine.

    Have never said that if it's non-free it's suicide. Please. I think the point is that you DO need to charge -- but the question is what are you charging for. The point (apparently not clear enough) is that charging for content that isn't limited and is in a competitive market won't work. That's just simple economics.

    But the bottom line is that the days of giving away at no charge professionally produced content and journalism are numbered. And I, for one, do believe that there is enough demand among the readerships of a good number (certainly not all) of these publications to make them viable.

    You do realize that most media subscriptions today barely (if at all) cover printing and delivery? Subscribers DO NOT pay for content today. Why do you think they'll suddenly start doing so in a much more competitive market?

    Having a good business model is not limited to a business model that TechDirt/Masnick agrees with, though the verbiage on this site increasingly seems to make that equation.

    Not at all. We're impressed by new business models all the time. It's not about the business model. It's about the economics. If you pick a business model that goes against basic economics, you're going to fail. It's really that simple.

    They don't have the arm-chair luxury that TechDirt does of pontificating without risk and playing a wait-and-see game

    You say that as if we're not running our own publication -- and giving away all the content for free.

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