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. identicon
    Another AC, 1 Jun 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bingo

    The difference is that prior to the internet they were geographically localized. You young folks may not recall the times when you could not just log on and access information from all over the world. I do. Back before the internet, I remember the profound thrill of accessing an ftp server all the way over in Japan (that I found via Archie). It may seem commonplace now, but I assure you, when you do it for the first time ever, it's a big f'ing thrill.

    The problem is not that newspaper or magazine business models are radically different, it's simply that people are no longer limited to their local geography to get certain kinds of information. The internet doesn't actually eliminate that advantage, they just need to figure it out. World-wide access aside, stuff that's happening within a 30 minute automobile ride from my house is still much more relevant than what is happening on the other side of the globe. The fact that I get my information via my browser rather than the bundle of paper on my porch is irrelevant. Local information is still of profound interest relative to "being an informed citizen on world affairs". That is the niche newspapers need to take advantage of online.

    I can foresee the day when the decision of where to buy a house is not just influenced by the quality of the local school district, but on how internet savvy the local populace is. Here in Southeastern Connecticut, it's mind boggling how many businessess and restaurants do not have an online presence. Typical conversation in the household: "hey, this place I heard about seems cool. We should to there this weekend." "Cool - what are their hours and what is their menu like?" "No clue - they don't have a website". "Oh. Well, fuck them - we'll go to that other place in the next state we read about online. They sound really cool and they have an awesome kids menu too".

    You don't have to be free in the new millenium, but you do have to be online.

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