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March 11, 2009

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Idealo News

I've never heard of that freemium method before but it sounds like it would do really well if you have good market penetration already and great content. Do you know why WSJ.com dropped the method?

israel lheureux

Isn't it as "simple" as news adopting the high tech business model?

http://assetbar.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/why-news-should-adopt-the-high-tech-business-model/

1) Charge for your content, in the beginning. Then it goes to free when it's 18-36 hours old.

High tech starts with high price points, then declines to zero. Early adopters pay a disproportionate share of the dev cost, so that it CAN become adopted by the masses. The iphone was $600, then $400, then $200. Soon enough, it will be be free.


2) Information wants to be expensive AND free.

The same goes for high tech. Mastering that tension is why high tech has been successful, and NEWS needs to learn to do the same.

Joe Fredericks

In my opinion, to say the old Freemium way of doing things at the WSJ "worked" is idealistic. It was a way around the subscription pure and simple, and after a while, if everyone wasn't already going in the backdoor, they would.

It's unrealistic to expect that certain, great content including investigative reporting and opinion will be recompensed without some sort of subscription model and beyond what online advertising offers.

No doubt, there is tons of great content without subscription or even advertising.

But a news source that combines consistent, researched content and meets the litmus test of quality, journalistic standards needs time. And time needs to be compensated.

Galen

I like israel lheureux's suggestion, and here's another option which could be implemented by itself or in conjunction with it: keep material behind the paywall until a certain threshold of paid visitors have read it. The early adopters end up paying for the content, but if an article reaches critical mass of blogospheric interest it becomes free so that the nonpaying customers get to see how good the product is and so the paper is sure to get its most important articles into many hands. They could even provide services to blogs and non-paying customers that keep them updated on when the piece will go public--counters that get embedded in blog posts so that blog readers know whether the content is available and if not how soon it might be, and some sort of rss feed where you flag articles you want to read and the service notifies you (with embedded advertisements, maybe) when they go public. Marrying this with a system where everything goes public after a certain period of time might be even better.

John Blossom

Good post, Chris, I agree that the older WSJ model had a lot going for it. I think that it worked in part because people felt that paying for the Journal was a little like paying your country club dues - if that's your thing. In other words, it was not so much the cost as making sure that you were able to have conversations with others who have read the same materials. Premium works best when it's either necessary for work functions or acts as an essential "glue" to key communities and demographics. The wall is really to protect the members' exclusivity, not to protect the publisher's content per se.

Josh

What Ann (and many others) don't get is that it doesn't really matter whether or not she agrees that content "should" be free or not; each person has the choice whether or not to pay for the content. It's not a case of "If you charge for it, they will come".

There is a vast quantity of quality free content out there and if Time and WSJ would prefer not to be part of the general social discourse, they have the freedom to do so.

It's simply a fact of life, whether you agree or not, that even if a writer toiled for 3 months to get a story written, to the average person it is still just another story in the sea of them that exist. It's more likely to fall into the "long tail" than be a hit... especially if users have to pay for the pleasure of reading it.

Adam Carolla has a very popular podcast now... and I've heard him already start saying that he thinks that eventually he'll be able to "reason" with the listeners about the fact that it is expensive to make and that we may have to pay (a small amount). This is despite the fact that one of his guests, Leo Laporte, mentioned that every time it is tried, listener numbers drop through the floor. Good luck on that one Adam.

OlliS

Not really related to the business model side of things but the WSJ paywall can be easily circumvented with stuff like Refspoof.

hyokon

"Free may be the best price, but it needn’t be the only one."

Here is my version. "Free can hardly be the best price, and you certainly don't want it to be the only price."

Terry Heaton

Doesn't it bother you, Chris, that subscriptions to the WSJ are largely paid for by companies, not individuals? I think that throws a huge monkey wrench in anybody's plans to copy what they do.

Rick Falls

Content is worth what it's worth to who it's worth.

If WSJ was smart they would have not only kept what was working but dug deeper and actually expanded on it's potential to generate further revenue.

Free content is good for general audiences but premium content should be paid for by the people who can benefit from it.

The pay for value business (membership) model is one of the most honest ones going, I pay you as long as you provide value. If you stop delivering value I stop paying.

That's all that's happening to the newspapers, they've stopped delivering value to their readers, their advertisers and therefore their shareholders.

MIGHTYBIGMEDIA

Free? The answer will define the future state of creativity.

Music is already free and while that has certainly broadened access and increased quantity... it hasn't done much for quality.

Newspapers and books are feeling the gravity now, with no updraft on the horizon. The WSJ "Freemium" strategy might work for a little while... but not for long. Ad models are being fashioned to try and fill the gap, but what is the real cost to the consumer: The Mona Lisa... brought to you by Proactive? Unfortunately, underwriting and donation (think NPR and PBS) may be a piece of the puzzle... but let's face it, each year the pledge drives grow and the revenues shrink.

As monitors get larger and less expensive, and the digital pipes get faster and cheaper, the movie industry will "free fall" as well.

The arts are rapidly becoming the realm of the very young, who are supported by their families, and the very rich, who can afford the hobby.

A storm is building, and it's a big one. The winds of change have already begun to blow down the structures of artist compensation. Soon, the rains of creativity which nourish us all, will be completely free... and maybe they should be. Perhaps it's time we turned our attention towards finding a way to monetize the clouds.

John Dila

The original post in this thread reminds me of something zappos.com is doing:

Zappos.com, a privately held firm, claims to be ultra-transparent, with everyone--customers, employees, stakeholders, competitors. And they do share a lot about their business, for free.

For example, the firm's CEO, Tony Hsieh, has a very public and very updated Twitter account (http://twitter.com/zappos). He doesn't broadcast the company's private numbers there, but he does/did post information like the email he simultaneously sent to his employees announcing the firm's first-ever layoff (8%) as well as the terms of the severance packages, and so on. Transparency. Free.

Another innovation around charging-for-content from zappos is Zappos Insights (http://www.zapposinsights.com/), which "is a B2B focused membership site that allows 'Fortune One Million' companies to gain insights from the learnings of Zappos.com."

The move seems to take the "secret" out of "secret sauce;" a suggestion Mr Hsieh would probably find amusing. Not free, but almost for that kind of information. And Transparent.

We still have a lot to learn about the value of content. Firms that try new things might make mistakes, but they're sure to learn and get it right next time.

Denny

The free model is old. Radio, Television all worked very well on the free model. Distribution is almost free on the internet so creating content is the only cost. Advertising revenue is the key.

It seems pretty simple to me.

Jaimie

Hi,

I understand the theory of charging for content and it makes sense. But there are strong practical reasons why the odds are stacked against this approach.
Jaimie

radha krishnan

No doubt, there is tons of great content without subscription or even advertising.
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Gary Teh

Actually I wonder how easy it is to convert to a pay model once a prior free model has been implemented. From my perspective once something is perceived as free it will be harder to convince someone to pay for it later.

alqaly


well on the free model. Distribution is almost

information like the email he simultaneously sent to his employees

دردشة

منتديات

broadened access and increased quantity... it hasn't done much for quality.

Newspapers and books are feeling
all that's happening to the newspapers, they've stopped delivering value to their readers, their advertisers and therefore their shareholders

Sports Flooring

I believe that information should be free.
If someone has spent years and money researching a certain area and they want to share this knowledge by charging people for it then by all means.
I mean these trends indicate what we think of information that we pay for, particularly when some of it can be obtained for free
Sports Flooring
Commercial Flooring

Felix

Interesting models are listed here. Please write the story with analysis of this methods!
Freebies


Free Magazines

David

It's unrealistic to expect that certain, great content including investigative reporting and opinion will be recompensed without some sort of subscription model and beyond what online advertising offers.

David From Deeper Voice Blog

grow taller 4 idiots

Television all worked very well on the free model. Distribution is almost free on the internet so creating content is the only cost. Advertising revenue is the key.

Acai

Well, Blog posts so that blog readers know whether the content is available and if not how soon it might be, and some sort of rss feed where you flag articles you want to read and the service notifies you (with embedded advertisements, maybe) when they go public. Marrying this with a system where everything goes public after a certain period of time might be even better.

Account Deleted

I understand the theory of charging for content and it makes sense. But there are strong practical reasons why the odds are stacked against this approach.
Acai Berry

JEEL5

Thank you and the subject site's outstanding


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دليل مواقع

wwooooow

Thank you and the subject site's outstanding

دليل مواقع

Thank you and the subject site's outstanding

resveratrol supplements

opinion will be recompensed without some sort of subscription model and beyond what online advertising offers.

Acai Slim Review

Is this the right place to report that this edition of Wired print magazine is entirely unavailable (study of 15 newsagents and 5 book megastores on 9th March 2009) in Islington, North London?

Acai Slim Review

Is this the right place to report that this edition of Wired print magazine is entirely unavailable (study of 15 newsagents and 5 book megastores on 9th March 2009) in Islington, North London?

Registry Fix Review

I'm am fairly new to blogging and really appreciate your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking your content out.

grow taller 4 idiots

If someone has spent years and money researching a certain area and they want to share this knowledge by charging people for it then by all means.

debbie

I think charging for content is fine if you can get enough subscribers for your content.

I kind of prefer the free method backed by advertising revenue though!

David

Maintaining a healthy diet is an example of free information that is good for the world

gift ideas

All competitors of Qimonda, which there still are encouraged by the state. The question was hypothetical and without a business plan is currently not imagine, "said Prime Minister of Saxony Stanislaw Tillich (CDU), according to government spokesman Peter Zimmermann in Dresden.

With regard to a potential investor, it is important to make the transition. "Those responsible remain encouraged to use the existing tools," said Tillich. It must continue to be intensively searched for an investor and worked on a solution. Qimonda had on Friday, the cessation of production at its Dresden 1 April announced as yet, no investor was found. It stands much tax money at stake, argued IG Metall expert Cramer. "One third of the chip industry in Saxony have paid for the taxpayer."

Acai Berry Reviews

I absolute hate it when places charge for content. As if I can't just hit the back button and go to a free news site.

2im

Recognizes your hand dear brother

It's wonderful blog

mqlla

well on the free model. Distribution is almost

information like the email he simultaneously sent to his employees


منتديات حب بنات,
دردشة حب بنات,
شات حب بنات,
منتدى حب بنات


broadened access and increased quantity... it hasn't done much for quality.

Newspapers and books are feeling
all that's happening to the newspapers, they've stopped delivering value to their readers, their advertisers and therefore their shareholders

mqlla

The free model is old. Radio, Television all worked very well on the free model. Distribution is almost free on the internet so creating content is the only cost. Advertising revenue is the key.

منتديات حب بنات,
دردشة حب بنات,
شات حب بنات,
منتدى حب بنات


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Tidbits

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!