Skip to comments.The Times’ Paywall and Newsletter Economics (For Dinosaur Media It May Be the End of the Beginning)
Posted on 11/25/2010 3:28:44 AM PST by lbryce
In early July, Rupert Murdochs News Corporation placed its two London-based quality dailies, the Times and Sunday Times, behind a paywall, charging £1 for 24 hours access, or £2 a week (after an introductory £1 for the first month.*) At the same time, News Corp also forbad the UKs Audit Bureau of Circulations from reporting site traffic*, so that no meaningful measure of the paywalls effect was available.
That situation has now been partially reversed, with News reporting some of its own numbers: they claim 105,000 total transactions for digital content between July and October.* (Several people have wrongly reported this as 105,000 users. The number of users is smaller, as there can be more than one transaction per user.) News Corp notes that about half of those transactions were one-offs, meaning only about 50,000 transactions in those four months were by people with any commitment to the site longer than a single day.
Because that 50K number includes not just web site transactions, but Kindle and iPad sales as well, web subscribers are, at best, in the low tens of thousands. However, we dont know how small the digital subscriber number is, for two reasons. First, the better the Kindle and iPad numbers are, the worse the web numbers are. Second, News did not report, for example, whether a loyal reader from July to October would count as a single transaction or several consecutive transactions. (If iPad sales are good, and loyal users create multiple transactions, then monthly web subscribers could be under 10,000.)
(Excerpt) Read more at shirky.com ...
Albert Einstein said it very well among other things he said very ,very well;insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
“Why the New York Slimes thinks erecting a Paywall the second time around will have them fare any better is simply a matter of desperation.”
The free market is working with respect to the output of the mainstream media. The monetary value of this output for the readers appears to be zero when online readers are charged for the content.
There are two alternatives:
1) Change the content to increase its value and attract a paying audience.
2) Change the economic model to fund the costs associated with producing the content in a different way.
Alternative #1 seems unlikely. Obviously #2 has been tried with advertising. Apparently the advertising revenues are insufficient to fund the activity. Therefore, its seems increasingly likely the dinosaur media will seek public funding of its costs of production in order to survive. No doubt the current administration would very much like to solidify its control of the message in the mainstream media by having the power to control the funding of the media outlets.
I'd say it is highly unlikely even for an avowed Socialist/Communist currently occupying the White House for your thoughtful implication to ever come to fruition.
That was opaque ...
PayWalls do not generally seem to PayWell.
Yes! That was exactly what I was trying to convey. :-)