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Blog Posted in avatar   William Charles Baker's Blog

Pay To Read NY Times Spells Doom For Many Independent Digital News Organizations

By William Charles Baker
Posted Mar 17, 2011 in World
The good old days of aggregating and using social media sites to make a buck on the web may be coming to an end. With branding and name recognition news organizations like the NY Times have tradition, history and readership on their side. When links run into pay walls something has to give. For those publishers without the name recognition of the big sites you can bet that revenue will drop. Scoff at the idea but it may be time to face the ultimate reality. "Times are changing".
A little something from Newsonomics about people that are willing to pay and the importance of branding and big names like NYtimes, etc.
"Here is the growing epiphany about these core readers: Not only do they pay you, they use lots more pages than the fly-by people, the non-core sent by Google, Facebook, Twitter and all manner of other referrals. More than 50% of the Financial Times traffic comes from about 10% of its unique visitors, largely the paying ones, who just got a fee increase this year and paid up. The Wall Street Journal has seen similar disproportionate usage.
The virtuous circle gets wider. Not only do you get more usage from this paying core group, but those readers also become better and better advertising targets each day. You, the publisher, already have their declared registration/buying information (demographics) and now you have a 24/7 clickstream of their digital reading, researching and shopping behavior. Match the two, and modern ad targeting can increase yields as you sell them — and actually present offers that might interest them."

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