Cablevision Puts Up Newsday's Paywall; But Really Just Using It As A Churn Reducer
from the that's-not-a-business-model dept
The company has announced that it will start charging a whopping $5/week (not month, but week) to access the website unless you're an existing paper newspaper subscriber and/or a Cablevision subscriber.
Let's be absolutely clear what this is. It is not a plan to build a 21st century news organization. It's a plan to try to reduce churn elsewhere, by putting up a slight hurdle for Cablevision cable customers and Newsday newspaper customers to prevent them from leaving. Cablevision's customer base and Newsday's subscriber base overlaps quite a bit, so for plenty of those folks there will be no change at all. But this won't do anything to actually help the news organization grow. Those who don't subscribe to the paper edition or who use a competitor for broadband (like Verizon Fios which is pushing hard in Cablevision's market) will simply go elsewhere. While the NYC papers don't cover Long Island news quite as completely, they do a pretty good job with the basics, and other local news sources will fill in the rest. Cablevision is basically saying that it's giving up in the online news business. It's an admission that it doesn't know how to compete. This won't help it sign up new customers, and may only barely help it prevent old customers from leaving.
It's basically a suicide play for Newsday. This is really a disappointment, since Cablevision -- amazingly -- had actually been one of the most forward thinking cable companies out there in terms of offering real value on the broadband side of things. But apparently it bought Newsday as an asset to let it wither away.