Newspapers Can Make Money Online

American newspapers are finding that out the hard way as their disastrous decision based on the “information should be free” mantra to give their content away on their web sites has led to failure. While this has probably been only a minor factor in the demise recently of the Rocky Mountain News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Tucson Citizen and the comatose financial state of many other papers, it has become a great motivator.

Now, momentum is building the other way … instead of sitting back and wistfully hoping that a high number of pageviews would generate a demand for advertising, which hasn’t happened, publishers are actively looking at a variety of methods to make money online.

“For many years, I have been concerned that so many newspapers tried to charge for access to their brands and content in one medium … print … while giving it away in another medium, online,” says former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz.

“This had the unintended consequence of signaling to readers that the value was less online. Newspaper publishers hoped that online advertising would be enough to support their digital operations and indeed hoped that it would be the growth engine for the entire news franchise, print and online. Alas, online advertising only grew to the trees, not to the sky.

“Now, with online advertising in cyclical decline, news publishers of all kinds … newspapers and magazines but also online-only news organizations … see that it’s hard to support a news department with only the advertising revenue stream.”

Of the various pay possibilities, the most likely to gain widespread use in the future of journalism is …

SUBSCRIPTIONS. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which long has been the only sizable metro paper to charge for its web site, makes readers pay $4.95 a month. Since that’s about 16 cents a day, we’d say it’s far too low. We’d make it a nice round number, easy to remember … $20 a month. That hopefully would bring in a substantial amount of revenue.

But charge what you need to charge to survive … in this sense, a newspaper will become more like a newsletter with a narrow scope but an audience willing to support it. Aren’t many newsletters profitable?

Subscription has the advantage of being familiar … just as you subscribe to receive newspapers and magazines, you would subscribe to gain access to online news.

http://photohistory.oregonstate.edu/works/it-blog/football-betting-a-magical-deal-to-earn-double

By Amber