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Businesses Media The Almighty Buck News

Prepare for the New Paywall Era (theatlantic.com) 263

Alexis C. Madrigal, writing for The Atlantic: If the recent numbers are any indication, there is a bloodbath in digital media this year. Publishers big and small are coming up short on advertising revenue, even if they are long on traffic. [...] In a print newspaper or a broadcast television station, the content and the distribution of that content are integrated. The big tech platforms split this marriage, doing the distribution for most digital content through Google searches and the Facebook News Feed. And they've taken most of the money: They've "captured the value" of the content at the distribution level. Media companies have no real alternative, nor do they have competitive advertising products to the targeting and scale that Facebook and Google can offer. Facebook and Google need content, but it's all fungible. The recap of a huge investigative blockbuster is just as valuable to Google News as an investigative blockbuster itself. The former might have taken months and costs tens of thousands of dollars, the latter a few hours and the cost of a young journalist's time. That's led many people to the conclusion that supporting rigorous journalism requires some sort of direct financial relationship between publications and readers. Right now, the preferred method is the paywall. The New York Times has one. The Washington Post has one. The Financial Times has one. The Wall Street Journal has one. The New Yorker has one. Wired just announced they'd be building one. (Editor's note: CNN is building a paywall, too.) Many of these efforts have been successful. Publications have figured out how to create the right kinds of porosity for their sites, allowing enough people in to drive scale, but extracting more revenue per reader than advertising could provide.
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Prepare for the New Paywall Era

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:05PM (#55652745)

    And it won't work this time. You're just looking at a ton of closures and maybe some consolidation between whoever is left standing

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Too many people were using the HOV lanes in my state and tax revenue from gas sales dropped too low. Now they charge to use the HOV lanes, and no one uses them.

      I can't see this turning out any differently.

      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:32PM (#55653059) Homepage Journal
        I'll pay for a hard/dead tree copy of something....

        I don't feel like paying digital. Just seems less of value on digital.

        • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:55PM (#55653285) Homepage

          I don't feel like paying digital. Just seems less of value on digital.

          For me it has nothing to do with the value of the content or digital/dead tree. I just don't want to pay for something that I'm accustomed to getting for free even if it's a bargain. Not entirely rational, but that's the 'logic' behind my motivation.

          • 90% of what I read is in instapaper or pocket. I see an article I want to read, I save it for when I have time (usually when I'm offline). Gets rid of stupid formatting and auto-play ads, I can use the speed-reader function, or the app can read it out loud to me. Paywalls break that even if I pay for it. Stat news specifically has a problem with instapaper loading articles from it. They mix in paywalled articles with free ones, and they're not clearly marked as one or the other if you're subscribing. I go t
    • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:30PM (#55653025) Homepage Journal

      I've been flogging this horse for maybe 20 years... central micropayments site for the media providers. Joe Surfer makes a deposit. every news site he now hits, there is a deduction to the provider to pay for the posting. why in hell can't they do this, and be assured of a wider, non-PO'ed audience providing cash?

      • by tattood ( 855883 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:41PM (#55653135)

        central micropayments site for the media providers.

        There's your problem. There won't be one central micropayment provider. You'll end up like the e-wallet (PayPal, Apple Wallet, Samsung Pay) where there are multiples and users have to put money in multiple providers. That, or the content providers will need to have accounts with all of the micropay providers.

        • ...well, until Visa, MC, Barclays, and/or Amex gets in on the act. Then it just slipstreams into the existing providers of CC/Debit payment services, and life goes on as usual.

        • or the content providers will need to have accounts with all of the micropay providers.

          What practical problem do you see with expecting each publisher to have accounts with all of the micropay providers?

          • by tattood ( 855883 )

            What practical problem do you see with expecting each publisher to have accounts with all of the micropay providers?

            There is some amount of coding (and maintenance) work that needs to be done to add each provider to their website. Also, each provider may have different fees or rules that a website may not agree to.

      • by Aaden42 ( 198257 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:46PM (#55653187) Homepage

        Jake Surfer here... Not sure I can speak 100% for my brother Joe, but if I have to think, "Gee... I wonder if I'm just gonna get scammed out of half a penny with a bunch of clickbate if I follow this link," you can bet I'd be following a whole lot fewer links. Also, why am I giving someone an interest free loan so they can hold onto my money and deduct some of it for every piece of clickbate I get fed?

        The problem is less lack of payment mechanism and more lack of quality / necessity. There are no shortage of places that provide reliable, relevant news. The supposed "journalistic integrity" that I might be willing to pay for gets eroded a little bit more every time ${majorNewsSite}.com parrots the prevailing party line without even a scrap of effort to contradict obvious lies and policy 180's.

        There will be a lot more digital blood to bathe in before anything of value is lost.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mspohr ( 589790 )

          Jake Surfer here... Not sure I can speak 100% for my brother Joe, but if I have to think, "Gee... I wonder if I'm just gonna get scammed out of half a penny with a bunch of clickbate if I follow this link," you can bet I'd be following a whole lot fewer links. Also, why am I giving someone an interest free loan so they can hold onto my money and deduct some of it for every piece of clickbate I get fed?

          The problem is less lack of payment mechanism and more lack of quality / necessity. There are no shortage of places that provide reliable, relevant news. The supposed "journalistic integrity" that I might be willing to pay for gets eroded a little bit more every time ${majorNewsSite}.com parrots the prevailing party line without even a scrap of effort to contradict obvious lies and policy 180's.

          There will be a lot more digital blood to bathe in before anything of value is lost.

          I agree that clickbait will still be a problem. That's why it's good to support ${majorNewsSite}.
          (BTW, the only ${majorNewsSite} that parrots the prevailing party line that I know of is Fox news. The others have all been branded with Trump's "fake news" label which is a sure sign that they must have spoken some truth to power.)

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Right, it's only Fox that does it... The others are bastions of objectivity. Seriously?

      • I've been flogging this horse for maybe 20 years... central micropayments site for the media providers.

        That existed 20 years ago, and it was called Adult Check. Subscribers gained access to all participating sites, and sites were paid per page view. I guess if you ignore the erotica on the network, you could explain the name as "Because grown-ups can pay for nice things."

        The problem comes when a single company operates both an ad network and a micropayment network. Such an operator has an incentive to track viewers' browsing habits across the Internet in order to build a dossier on their interests. For examp

      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        I've been flogging this horse for maybe 20 years... central micropayments site for the media providers. Joe Surfer makes a deposit. every news site he now hits, there is a deduction to the provider to pay for the posting. why in hell can't they do this, and be assured of a wider, non-PO'ed audience providing cash?

        And then it becomes third party data subject to mass surveillance for use against you in court with the added bonus of demonstrating a monetary transaction across state lines. It is not like this is not already the case but why make it easier? No thanks.

        Let me know when I can pay in untraceable cash.

  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:06PM (#55652751) Homepage

    This is a problem that needs to be solved. Since copying content has become easy, how do the people who create content get paid? How do news organizations pay reporters to investigate stories?

    There are no easy solutions.

    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:12PM (#55652807) Homepage
      Easy solution: Build a wall around the paywalls and make the paywalls pay for it.
      • So you're suggesting extending single signon to actually be a clearing house for paywalls? Not a bad idea.
        • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:29PM (#55653011)

          I think this is a good idea too. NYT's paywall is $15/mo. I presume Wash. Post is similar. That just two sites for $30. One quickly runs out of money to pay for a reasonable collection of different editorial stances and investigative journalism.

          The current situation also means small sites that do not need much to spew their "contents" have an oversize influence. They do not have to pay for investigative journalism, or quality op-eds.

          • by sheph ( 955019 )
            And neither of them are producing anything approaching a fraction of that value.
          • Perhaps then we're returning to the pre-Internet paradigm where you probably get a single newspaper and a small handful of magazines. Except at least in the Internet era, we're no longer locked into the one local paper in our small town.
          • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @04:14PM (#55653479)

            I think this is a good idea too. NYT's paywall is $15/mo. I presume Wash. Post is similar.

            This is the current problem with such sites -- that's too expensive. Back when you had to subscribe to newspapers, they didn't cost that much even with the additional expense of printing and distributing physical paper.

            • I think this is a good idea too. NYT's paywall is $15/mo. I presume Wash. Post is similar.

              This is the current problem with such sites -- that's too expensive. Back when you had to subscribe to newspapers, they didn't cost that much even with the additional expense of printing and distributing physical paper.

              Actually, daily delivery subscriptions DID cost that much and more, at least for the big papers like the NYT, Wash Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc., particularly if the big fat Sunday edition was included. And that was still a bargain over buying a copy at the newsstand.

              Adjust for inflation, $15/mo. is a deal.

              I'd first say internet users have short memories, but we more remember everything being free, because it used to be slow and experimental and buggy and... mostly free of spam and trolls (yeah, ye

              • by brewthatistrue ( 658967 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @05:18PM (#55654009)

                In 2001, NYTimes increased newsstand prices in southern california to $0.50 with $1.50 for sunday.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02... [nytimes.com]

                I have no idea how much a delivery subscription cost at that time.

                That's $0.50 * 52 weeks * 6 days = $156.

                Add Sunday for $1.50 * 52 weeks * 1 day = $78.

                Add those and you get $234.

                A $15/mo subscription is $180.

                I am not sure how much of the NYT's costs come from the printing and distribution of phyisical newspapers, but I would have expected the prices to go down as a result of the digital editions.

                Then again, as someone else said, their costs are subsidized by advertising, so they aren't really passing the straight costs onto their users anyway. That's why many sites still have advertising even for their paying subscribers, which is a deal breaker for me.

            • by flink ( 18449 )

              This is the current problem with such sites -- that's too expensive. Back when you had to subscribe to newspapers, they didn't cost that much even with the additional expense of printing and distributing physical paper.

              Back in my paperboy days (mid 90s), 7-day delivery of the Boston Globe cost something like $5-$7/week, plus you had to tip the paper boy. The Sunday edition alone costed $1.50 in print. $15/mo for the online edition seems fairly reasonable in comparison, especially adjusted for inflation. I think we've just been conditioned to not pay for news over the past 20 years.

              • The last time I subscribed to a major metro newspaper, it cost me $10/mo for the daily (the Sunday was extra). That's what I'm remembering. Of course, I haven't run it through the inflation calculator...

          • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

            I would not trade all the negatives that come with single sign on dystopias just to fund screeds written by ideologues passing themselves off as journalists.

        • No. I'm suggesting that there are always easy solutions. But they are not necessarily good ideas.
        • by tattood ( 855883 )

          So you're suggesting extending single signon to actually be a clearing house for paywalls? Not a bad idea.

          This will end up with companies like Comcast or Cox that offer a "news bundle" service that you pay $50 a month for, and you get access to 10 different news sites. For an additional $10 a month, you get the premium package that includes Wall Street Journal and other sites.

      • Easy solution: Build a wall around the paywalls and make the paywalls pay for it.

        So... Yo dawg, I heard you like paywalls, so I put some paywalls around your paywalls.

    • by OffTheLip ( 636691 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:18PM (#55652867)
      Evolve that's how. I fail to see how this problem is different than how the printing press put the screws to other means of information dissemination back in the day. Whoever figures out the way ahead will win. I doubt holding your information hostage from readers will be the answer.
      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Readers holding their money from information carriers will sink the carriers. You'll be left with spew, everywhere.

    • There are no easy solutions.

      There are, the problem is the lack of human intelligence. A true independent media needs its own central bank to be immune to corporate influence, aka you'd build a media that had the ability to loan money to itself and build it into the system. That would be an anethema to the upper class however, you can see their feelings here about the common man:

      Former national security advisor on his reservations of the political awakening of the masses [youtube.com]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Brzezinski [wikipedia.org]

    • by Falos ( 2905315 )

      * I think imaginary property is an oxymoron; we only pretend that someone owns a mental construct, everywhere in the universe simultaneously forever

      * I think creators should be given money for creating, perhaps even more than now; we like what's on git/s.overflow, sure, and in that vein we give thanks for every "good idea" since the dawn of mankind, they are the heroes of the species, not that anyone's sending royalties to the corpses of ancient greeks.

      Those two can stand next to each other fine in my philo

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Easy and simple are not the same thing. Easy was letting 3rd party companies manage advertisement sales (and of course get a cut) for the publisher.

      Simple is going back to direct-sales marketing management. Let bloggers and YouTube use 3rd parties, NYT, WaPo, and more should be selling their valuable screen real-estate directly and reaping all the money from that.

      I mean... damn people. Its not complex, just more work. Since the YouTube Adpocalypse many YouTubers have started doing sponsored content (many mo

    • Maybe a media site should offer a Paywall or an Advertising site. (Sort of like YouTube constantly nagging: tired of ads?)

      If the Ads won't support the site for the visitors who elect Ads, then the problem would seem that the advertisers are not willing to pay enough to support the number of pages that visitors look at. Or the problem is that the content itself is not valuable enough to warrant visitors, or perhaps advertisers to be interested.

      If the Paywall isn't working, why is that? Is the subscr
      • the problem would seem that the advertisers are not willing to pay enough to support the number of pages that visitors look at

        Correct. This is the model of print newspapers, print magazines, and pay television. Neither subscription revenue alone nor advertising revenue alone is enough to fully fund the production of works of authorship without, say, making every pay TV channel as expensive as HBO. Only the sum of the two is sufficient.

        Is the subscription price too high?

        Yes in many cases. $25,000 per year for one article that happens to be exclusive to the Bloomberg subscription is far too high for the vast majority of individual readers. Even a more modest $4 per m

    • A micropayment system that could pay a few pennies per story might help. It's worth 1-5 cents to take a look at a hot news story, and maybe 10-20 cents for a longer magazine read. Generate enough traffic and it will pay the bills for the real news organizations. What it takes is building a micropayment system without somebody skimming more than their share off the top of each transaction. I don't mind paying for content I read, but I like to read varied content from different sources, so that way I could s
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      How do news organizations pay reporters to investigate stories?

      I think that ship sailed years ago, and it wasn't falling advertising revenue (although I'm sure news organizations will try to blame that) -- It was plain corporate greed.

      In today's reality-entertainment-fueled culture news organizations realized content filled more with Op-Ed than hard fact-finding still passed off as a "news report", and was much cheaper than investigating stories, staffing people to check facts before press, maintaining foreign bureaus, or flying reporters to locations to get the story.

    • You make it sound like they donâ(TM)t get paid. The thing is that content creators get paid or there would simply not be any content today.

      How much does a reporter get paid? $50-100k/year and about $300k in gear, office space and supporting people. They have to cover maybe $5-15M/year for a good olâ(TM) regional reporting and publishing team.

      They charge about 10k/hour of ad space regionally and about $1M for national coverage (thatâ(TM)s based on the price list for IHeartRadio networks so I

    • It is also a lot cheaper now to generate content. People forget that. You don't need a printing press or a huge infrastructure.
      • by shmlco ( 594907 )

        Is it? True, anyone can just throws words on the page, but creating and verifying accurate, factual, useful content takes time. And skill. And money.

    • A lot of madness in the current public discussion comes from people reading too much biased news. Most of it is on the left but the right has a few juicy ones to keep the balance. What will happen if all of those are behind a paywall so there is not much inflammatory I mean investigative journalism to share and read for free?

      Maybe it will be peace across the land again.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      They've already solved it: They don't investigate anything. They pass off op-ed as news reporting.

  • Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:09PM (#55652769)

    I may sign up for one subscription, but I'm not going to get $10/month subscriptions for 20 different websites that I occasionally visit.

    • Re:Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:15PM (#55652837) Homepage

      This is the problem.

      It would be nice if there could be some sort of "online news bundle". Pay $10 a month and have access to a dozen or so newspapers. The system would distribute that $10 as appropriate to the papers depending on which ones I read the most.

      I don't want to have 15 different subscriptions! This is already becoming a problem in the streaming video world, with every company starting its own streaming service. I don't want it to become a problem for newspapers too.

      I have this desire to support the industry but don't want to have so many subscriptions. Find a way to bundle things and I may bite.

      • Same with TV!

        It would be nice if there could be some kind of TV bundle.

        I don't want to have 15 different subscriptions to HBO, Starz, Netflix, Disney, NBC... Can't I just pay one company to bundle it all together?

        Oh wait....

      • Re:Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @04:39PM (#55653691) Homepage Journal

        What is bad about having multiple subscriptions?

        I want almost exactly the opposite of you. IMHO, nearly every single "bundle" in my life is a scam, where someone is using something I like to get me to subsidize something I think is lame and worthless. WTF do I care if I'm paying multiple entities? That's easy; we have computers now. The total is probably going to be less, and even if it weren't less, I would almost certainly get more of what I want.

        What you are proposing is to lose all progress made in the last couple decades, and it sounds like I'd fund the people I like less than I do now.

        I want everything as fine-grained and micro-managed by me, as possible. (And just like the billing "problem"(?), we have computers now so what's-possible is going to be damn impressive.) When I "vote with my wallet" I do not want to fucking vote party ticket!! Every time I'm manipulated into doing otherwise, it's with resentment.

    • This is the problem with subscriptions, I completely agree. I find it to be the same with streaming content. Ok I want Netflix, but now there's Amazon.. and Hulu.. and wait to watch the new Star Trek I have to buy a subscription for CBS who already broadcasts on TV? What?

      At least with newspaper or news sites, we were already doing this. If I wanted the New York Times, I had to buy a copy, or get a subscription. If we can get day passes for the price (or less) of a paper, or get subscriptions similar
    • Re:Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @04:02PM (#55653361)

      I may sign up for one subscription, but I'm not going to get $10/month subscriptions for 20 different websites that I occasionally visit.

      The problem isn't really the number of sites, it's the per site cost. I'm willing to get multiple subscriptions, but most websites have a VERY inflated sense of what their content is worth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:09PM (#55652771)

    If there's one thing 2017 has taught me, it's that national and international news is not essential information.

  • Honestly? I have no problems paying a sub to visit the WSJ and/or similar trusted, thorough news sources. Maybe as a bonus it'll knock the clickbait bullshit sites offline? Likely not, since many of those sites (especially political clickbait sites) usually have massive backers (e.g. MoveOn was launched and backed financially by George Soros, etc.)

    Something to consider - maybe freebie sites that don't have a massive media presence in another medium (or some other visible and transparent means of non-biased/

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Nope, there are too many people who are happy with the echo chambers they visit. They wouldn't recognize propaganda if it danced naked in front of them.

    • No, people will just read a headline for free, make assumptions based on their beliefs, and then convince themselves that they know what the article talked about. Just like they do now.
  • This could be interesting when looked at in the net neutrality conversation. Pay for CNN, get internet access to CNN. The paywall is the connection? Maybe. On yhe other hand who care if you have a connection if every website is pay walled? I refuse to pay for anything on the internet. I see this ending badly for pay walled placed like nyt, CNN, etc.
    • by shmlco ( 594907 )

      "I refuse to pay for anything on the internet."

      Then you get nothing but the crap you deserve.

  • You still neeed only a young, cheap journalist to write the recap, but now he also needs a single cheap subscription for the paywall. Can you finance those expensive investigative journalistic scoops on those few subscriptions from other journalists?

    DRM already tried this model and they lost: there only one cracker for the DRM was needed and the war was lost: the media is on bittorrent and OCHs. Good crackers are actually much much rarer than these cheap young journalists. It took almost around year for Den

  • The Associated Press approach seems to work pretty well for news. We need an expanded version of this approach for all of the various (non-news) things the internet offers. In this way you might subscribe to one site but get access to the work from multiple players. In this way small players could work together to share revenue and content with each other. This solves the issue of subscribers having to pay a small monthly amount to 20 different sources and gives these sources a non-advertising source of rev
  • They positioned the well with overly aggressive advertisement, and now they wonder why they are getting thirsty?
  • Webcomics have a similar problem when it comes to revenue, and many of them have turned to voluntary donations like Patreon where you can schedule a regular monthly donation to your preferred sites.

    Combined with some unobtrusive ads, it seems to work pretty well for lots of artists.
    (some even add bonus content for those that donate over a certain amount, such as a browser cookie that disables the ads on their site for the month)

  • Problem solved.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      It's possible to render an abstract and credit card form with only HTML, CSS, and cookies.

  • by Alypius ( 3606369 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @03:46PM (#55653191)
    People will continue to read a headline for free, make assumptions based on their beliefs, and convince themselves they know what the article talked about.
  • "Right now, the preferred method is the paywall. The New York Times has one. The Washington Post has one."

    No, they haven't. They have a pay-cookie, delete it and there's no 'wall'.
    Or just install one of the extensions that resets them immediately

  • "They" want money for that:

    https://motherboard.vice.com/e... [vice.com]
    and:
    This website (www-blahblah) attempted to extract HTML5 canvas image data, which may be used to uniquely identify your computer."

    - not from me.... severely scale down on that shit....

    Ah - then Slashdot forces one to view on brain-damanged m.slashdot.org, no matter how huge your iPad is, not using that anymore either.

    What was that:
    https://hackernoon.com/more-th... [hackernoon.com]

    anyone can claim that comments are fake - who controls that statement and the dispu

  • Got my back button primed and everything.

    I appreciate that people have gotta make money, but I'm not paying for a news subscription. Someone needs to figure out a sane microtransaction platform sooner than later.

  • Having subscribed since the second issue in 1993 or 1994, starting with the third issue. they finally priced me out of paper, despite design and my personal preference for the tactile experience kept me until my max price was finally exceeded.

    Now I read the occasional article, but I found I wasn't that interested after all. A paywall will just make that a less frequent occurrence.

    And nothing of value will be lost for me.

    Of the other paywalled publications, most object to my adblocker so vehemently I avoid the 'free' stuff the would have permitted me to read. and nothing of value is lost there either.

    I wish them luck. They will need it.

  • If this lets me use an ad-blocker, then I welcome it. Truth be told, I already pay for a half-dozen or so sites I value anyway -- so for me, little would change.

  • The fact that news costs money to produce and deliver has never stopped being an issue, there was just a brief period of easy capital where players tried to stake out their turf in the digital world. What people don't seem to realize is that if you are getting your news for free it means someone else has paid for it. It's naive to believe the only advertising they see is obvious and commercial, when the media has always been seen as a way to push viewpoints. Your ad blocker doesn't work when the ad is the
  • Very soon the only free-to-read news media will be far left/right populist, conspiracy theory and other nutwing media with agendas.
  • There's something to be said here about efficiency. If bandwidth is a commodity then conserve it, write pages smartly. Don't have auto playing videos, huge parallax backgrounds, giant click through splash pages because you arrogantly believe everyone should see your quote of the day... Instead have some consideration for each element you send to the user. Make better use of vector based graphics. Use bitmaps sparingly.

  • How will all of the big blue media companies control the (growing) population of have-nots who can't afford the nickel? They are still going to vote....

  • by mspohr ( 589790 )

    If we has a sane public policy rather than rampant neoliberalism, we could do as the UK does and fund a BBC type news organization out of a tax.

  • by atrimtab ( 247656 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @05:43PM (#55654147)

    The solution is bundle publications for a fixed price per month. Texture sells access to about 200 magazines for $10/month on phones and tablets, but not on the web.

    See:

    https://www.texture.com/ [texture.com]

    Of course, this works much like the much derided Cable TV bundle. Don't think of it as a TV bundle. Think of it as Netflix for newspapers. The monthly costs are spread across enough content that purchasers do not feel ripped off even if they only read a subset of the offerings.

    Here is the list of magazines Texture offers:

    https://www.texture.com/all-ti... [texture.com]

    Texture magazines are somewhat searchable. There are highlights and even some daily news.

    What we don't know with Texture is how all the various publishers are being compensated from the monthly subscriptions fees readers are providing.

    I won't pay $2 for a magazine on Google, but I will pay $10/month for access to over 200 magazines. It keeps the rest of family happy too.

  • the same way I treat the full screen notices that demand I disable my ad-blocker.

    I simply shut down the tab and move on.

    If the story or information is worthy enough, it will be found on someone elses site.

  • Once upon a time I had multiple magazine subscriptions. Some cost upwards of $15 / month each.

    As time went by, I noticed there were more ads in my magazine than there was actual content.

    At which point I cancelled my subscriptions. Can't see any reason to pay a monthly fee for what amounted to nothing but advertising. :|

  • If I pay for one of these sites (WSJ, LAT, etc), will I be paying for the privilege of seeing ads, too?

  • BBC, CBC, NPR, etc. might end up being the only viable investigative news organizations.

    You may now begin the flames.

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