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Paying for newspaper content online – yeah right!

27. 02. 2009.

So some people seem to have been listening to too much Jethro Tull lately. “Living in the past” is a great song and it was a great compilation – we played it to no end at parties in high school and later as well.

Okay – but it may not necessarily be the best business model. It seems that the owners of “Newsday” are contemplating charging online users for content (http://tinyurl.com/newsdaypaid). Okay, let me say that again – a newspaper is thinking about asking it’s users to pay for accessing content.

Now I may not know the details of the idea and those guys may be smarter than I am, but I find it really, really hard to understand this idea. Haven’t we been there before, haven’t we lived through all this in the past?

Hey guys – we know the newspaper industry is in trouble. We know it’s not easy to come up with creative ways of generating revenue from the online news business. We also know that good content is really, really hard to create – and expensive to boot.

But charging for newspaper articles? In 2009? You’ve got to be kidding me. Or rather – you’ve got to get your shit together and come up with something more creative and, in particular, something more valuable for your users. Until then – stick to banner ads, good night and good luck.

Song for this post… First reader who knows the song (no Googling!) and emails me gets a beer or other drink from me the next time we meet in the real world. And believe me – I’ll know whether you’ve Googled or not!

“The old Rocker wore his hair too long,
wore his trouser cuffs too tight.”

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