To pay or not to pay for internet content, that is the question

By: Tim Coles
By: Tim Coles

I have had several discussions recently about the pay model for internet content. I wanted to weigh in on this because it will be an ongoing topic for some time to come. Just so you know I am “mostly” against a pay model. What I mean by mostly is the average news website.....

I have had several discussions recently about the pay model for internet content.  I wanted to weigh in on this because it will be an ongoing topic for some time to come.  Just so you know I am “mostly” against a pay model.  What I mean by mostly is the average news website, ours included, will not be able to survive on subscription alone.  Very few websites will be able to generate money this way.  The reason I say this is because if we were the only news organization in this area we would be able to charge for the content we provide.  Because the average viewer can find stories relevant to their needs in our area for free why would they pay us?  Don’t get me wrong, I believe a pay for content model can be used for certain content.  The best example is the “Wall Street Journal”.  They are going to a pay for content model and they will do very well.  Why because they are the best in their area of expertise.  Other publications are available, but they are not the “Wall Street Journal”.

I just read an article from the “The New York Times” titled “About Half in U.S. Would Pay for Online News, Study Finds”(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/16/business/media/16paywall.html).  This article reinforces that the pay for content model will not work for 99% of media sites. 

This is Tim Coles and you have had your Technology sermon.  Comment below or email me at tcoles@wkyt.com.

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