Back to the future – pay to read

Hmmmm interesting story about the Boston Globe. Following in the footsteps of parent company NYTimes, seems like the Globe will try to monetize its online presence above and beyond the advertising revenue. It will be interesting to see how long and how much revenue the Globe can get from such a move. Obviously traditional press like the Globe and the Times are under tremendous pressure for the web, apps and social media. So does trying to squeeze some revenue out of an online subscription model work?

I think it might. Here is why. When NYTimes tried to do this a few years back, making readers pay for certain parts of their publication specifically authors such as Krugman, the thought was readers would pay for the premium content. However they quickly reversed this approach once the revenue uptick did not materialize. However, today the dynamics are different, primarily thanks to Apple. With the iPhone and more specifically the iPad, our way of consuming of content has changed once again. We have no problem paying $0.99 or $4.99 or even more for apps and access content. If the Times and the Globe can package the content and price appropriately to target users who look to their smart phones and tablets to consume information they have a better chance of success than when they first tried this experiment. By no means is this a slam dunk, but there is a better chance this go around than the failed experiment from a few years ago. Thanks Steve Jobs!

But it does feel like back to the future!

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Filed under Publications, Social media

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