FT Boss: Positive Thinking And Balls Are The Secrets To A Successful Paywall
from the good-luck-with-that-strategy dept
However, in an interview, Rob Grimshaw, the managing director of the Financial Times, suggests that lots of others can do well with a paywall if they just had "balls" and "put their mind to it." Really:
"Publishers should have more balls, they should have more confidence about what they're doing," is how Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com put it.You would think that someone working for a savvy business publication, like the FT, would offer a bit more in the way of strategic detail. Confidence alone doesn't change the market position. I agree that if they put their mind to it, others can come up with compelling products that people will pay for -- but these have to be products of scarce value. The FT has mostly been able to do this with good financial/business content, but that may not be sustainable. It's really a huge opportunity for someone else to step in and offer top financial and business content for free and pick up the readers that don't want to pay for either the FT or the WSJ.
"If they put their mind to it then they can produce compelling products online which people will pay for."
And that group of people is growing. The younger generation (that's rapidly hitting the business world) has never paid for a newspaper subscription and see no reason to start now. None. So, the papers with the paywalls are limiting themselves to an audience that will die off. That's dangerous. Furthermore, as we keep pointing out, news consumers today aren't there to just read, but to share the news. In other words, the very act of putting up this paywall makes the newspaper less valuable to the current news consumer, because they can't freely share the content with others.
There are strategies for alternative revenue streams for publications, but locking up your content and hoping people will just pay to access it is an attempt to set up artificial scarcities in a world of abundance. It's a strategy that's hard to make last for very long.