[The company] has signed 176 dailies as affiliate partners. In total, more than 500 newspapers, magazines and other sites have agreed to join Journalism Online representing more than 90 million monthly unique users.
All the decisions regarding how to charge and what to charge for reside with the individual publishers.
My belief is that people will pay for content in selected circumstances or if somehow the entire culture of online news consumption is changed. This platform thus allows hundreds of publishers to more or less at once flip the switch on paid content models. If they essentially all do it at once, they’ve got a shot and changing the culture. The flexibility that the platform allows avoids anti-trust inquires into the effort.
- Will alternative free sources of news rise in appeal: radio sources, TV affiliates, online video?
- How will a return to pay walls affect the Yahoo-newspaper advertising consortium? (that depends on how much is gated and how many people are paying. Worst case: most of a site is gated and most people aren’t paying).
Online paid content models that may or may not be working:
- Angie’s List
- Consumer Reports
What would you be willing to pay for?
- Individual articles (micro-payments)
- Access to a group of articles from multiple publications (e.g., 20 articles a month)
- Access to a publication (like the WSJ)
- Print + online (If you buy online at price X you get print too)
- Free and ad supported or ad free with subscription
- Other models I haven’t thought of