Putting Up A Paywall Just To Have Advertisers Pay To Take It Down?

from the suckers-bet? dept

There's an interesting article at AdAge noting that while there are various paywalls going up, there are also a growing number of advertisers willing to pay to take down the paywall... and they're willing to pay more than it would have cost to just advertise. For example, Lincoln "paid" for a bunch of people to get the new NY Times' paywall for free, and Volvo is paying for a bunch of people to get free streaming video of Major League Baseball content. What strikes me as amusing about all of this is that the folks putting up these paywalls keep insisting that "advertising alone" can't pay enough... and yet here they are more or less admitting that advertisers are happy to pay "enough," if they're given a promotional package that brings benefits to them. Of course, the silly part of this is that part of that "benefit" to the advertisers is the perception that they're helping people take down the paywall. If that's really true, perhaps we should set up a paywall here at Techdirt just so some advertisers can "pay" to take it down. Any interest? Let us know...


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    testcore (profile), Apr 4th, 2011 @ 10:53pm

    Why isn't this the norm?

    Never made sense to me to suddenly change your target consumer just because your media/format was different. Just because you're a newspaper going online, now your readers need to pay? Doesn't make sense.

    Especially considering with online advertising, the advertiser can get a ridiculously clear and accurate picture of their return. 'Stead of the same ol' 50% wasted. Seems to me such targeted & known space is much, much more valuable.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2011 @ 11:09pm

    Cable used to be commercial free and reasonably priced. Now it costs a whole lot more and is riddled with commercials and the content quality isn't as good as it used to be. There is no reason why cable still can't be much cheaper with much fewer commercials like it used to be, but that's what happens when the government grants monopolies on everything.

     

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  3.  
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    Cowman Mau, Apr 4th, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    Great Wall Of China

    Oh you westerners, always trying to copy the Great Chinese Inventions!

    This is no Great Wall Of China, just Great Wall of Whiner.

    I think New York Times always complaining they can't make enough money, just a lot of FOO. Shame on you!

    Everything in China free, and look .... we take over the world.
    No worries, soon we buy New York Times just for laughs,
    he he ho ho ;)

     

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  4.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 1:45am

    Re: Great Wall Of China

    Ooooo Snap Western World! Cow Dung Flung done schooled you!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    Re: Great Wall Of China

    No worries, soon we buy New York Times just for laughs,
    he he ho ho ;)


    You could probably get a good deal right now. I understand they just invested a considerable sum in a tech project that ultimately panned out.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 2:47am

    Generous Offer

    I am willing to pay $0.00. What do you think?

     

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  7.  
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    Michael, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 4:46am

    Paywall

    Just say you have a paywall that has been created using JavaScript but will not be encountered if:

    1) you come in through a link from somewhere else
    2) you have visited TechDirt less than 20 times today
    3) you have turned off JavaScript (careful though - this may be a DMCA violation)
    4) your computer has a keyboard
    5) or your computer is a tablet
    6) it is sunny outside
    7) you drive a hybrid car (tip out hats to eco-friendly people - Google knows who you are and share this information with us)
    8) it is rainy outside but warm
    9) you have NOT downloaded illegal music this week

    Subscription costs are:
    - $9.99 per month
    - for the bargain hunter - $125 per year
    - an extra $4.99 per month for the iPad app
    - an extra $3.99 per month for access through an Android app
    - an extra $10 per month for access from any device except a Boost Mobile phone
    - the full digital package is free (except the iPad app) if you subscribe to the paper version of TechDirt delivered Tuesday and Thursday to your doorstep for $8.25 per month
    - You can get the iPad app with the paper subscription for $9.99 per month

    Just give us your credit card and tell us what you want to use - we will figure out the charges for you.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 4:59am

    Re: Why isn't this the norm?

    Quote:
    the advertiser can get a ridiculously clear and accurate picture of their return.


    Therein lies the problem, news organizations never ever counted on accurate pictures to sell ads they relied on fantastic assumptions to increase the prices and get the money, now they can't do that anymore.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:01am

    In the meanwhile my eyeballs are elsewhere.

     

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  10.  
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    coldbrew, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Paywall

    That's exactly it, isn't it? I'm starting to think it's brilliant, except for the $40M budget (the details of which I'm unclear). Maybe I'll check out their earnings call transcripts and see if any analyst asked how to model that, and over what time period.

    Good summary, btw.

     

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  11.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    (mis)quoting Forest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does".

    I say, TD should put up a paywall only for those who are stupid enough to subscribe to the NYT paywall. Those folks have already illustrated two things, that a) they have the $$ to waste, and b) that they are gullible enough to pay for what should be freely available...

     

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  12.  
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    Michael, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Paywall

    $40m? Nah. I'll build that paywall for Techdirt for a mere 2.5% of that.

    Talk about a bargain!

    Mike - call me. We'll talk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Any interest? Let us know...

    Any interest? Let us know...

    I'll build you a paywall, Mike. I'll only charge half as much as it cost the NY Times to put theirs in place, I'll do it in a month, and it will be of the same quality as a multi-billion dollar media company can do.

    Now, off to Amazon to buy a JavaScript for Dummies book...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    "Putting Up A Paywall Just To Have Advertisers Pay To Take It Down?"

    Maybe the NYT did this on purpose because they want more money and figure that advertisers would be willing to give them more money for removing the paywall if they put one up.

     

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  15.  
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    Atkray (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    I think Hanlon's razor applies.

     

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  16.  
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    thepi (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    I'm sure the major studios would be competing to let people jump your paywall.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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