Paywalls Vs Free News Site

. May 7, 2011 . 0 Comments

Oliver Reichenstein. writing on Informationarchitects has posted a very interesting article “Business Class: Freemium for News?”

“I had a perspective changing talk on the subject of pay walls with the chief executive of a big publishing company (no, I can’t tell you who). He asked me what I think about pay walls. I told him what I always say: The main currency of news sites is attention and not dollars and that I believe that it is his job, as a publisher, to turn that attention into money to keep the attention machine running. He nodded and made the following, astonishing statement”:

:If you’ve been designing online newspapers as well, of course, you know that designers cannot solve this problem by themselves. Newspapers need to make money. And most newspapers look the way they look because the design briefings are the way they are. The following comparison demonstrates how much space and attention that marketing strategy needs to pay for the product, and how small the space is for actual content:

“I can’t see pay walls working out either. But we need to do something before we lose all of our current subscribers. Sure. It’s a tough business environment, but… But the flight industry is a tough environment too, and they found ways. So tell me: Why do people fly Business Class? In the end, an airplane brings me to the same place regardless of whether I fly Economy or Business Class and the massive price-increase I pay doesn’t compare the difference in value.”


Image, Informationarchitects

“There is no information shortage online—if I can’t read this article, I’ll read another.

Pay walls weaken the main attractor (content) of your site and complicates the user experience (login on different platforms). Some leave social media back doors for pro users, but that’s not a good long term strategy either, as more and more people are using social media to find content.

Often pay walled news sites feature the same amount of marketing noise as free sites. Paying customers of course are more attractive clientele, but… Paying for news and then dealing with a silly blinking bonanza while reading doesn’t seem like a fair deal.”

Read full article at: http://www.informationarchitects.jp/en/business-class-news/

Why Every News Site Should Focus On Being First Class All The Time:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110504/17110014149/why-every-news-site-should-focus-being-first-class-all-time.shtml

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