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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1862 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Derek Thompson: What the Death of Homepages Means for the Future of News

    The problem that needs solving is that I would be willing to pay the NYT on a per article basis, but subscribing to them in entirety isn't worth it for me.

Right. You aren't a NYT customer. Really, you aren't worth their bother.

    I want an account that I can fill that allows me to pay for content on a per-article bases that includes a large variety of media outlets. I would also love the ability to tip extra for articles I really appreciated. An app like that could possibly increase the reach of serious journalism.

Well, how much would you pay? 'cuz if is $7 a month, and you intend to read one article a month, they'd probably have to hit you for $1 an article to make it worth it, which makes you scream "larceny!"

People who subscribe to the NYT don't necessarily read it cover-to-cover. Their subscription is also subsidized heavily by ads. We're still staring squarely at the problem of value - most customers don't value the NYT (for example) as heavily as the NYT needs to be valued in order for a partial plan to make sense. That's why none have emerged.

b_b  ·  1862 days ago  ·  link  ·  

NYT, I think, is about $12 per month or something thereabouts. I pay it, and I pay it happily. Up until very recently the idea that you get to read the Times or any other paper for free was not even an idea. That is, no one would have ever even conceived that the only thing they were actually paying for was the delivery guy showing up at 5:00 every morning. Seriously, wtf? I love the times (as anyone who follows me can probably figure out), and I would feel like a thief reading it for free every day. It's a valuable part of my morning, and for the <$0.50 it costs me every day (one quarter the price of the coffee I drink while I read, FWIW) there's no reason not to pay. I know that traditional news is dying a wretched death, but I'm going to continue to do my part to keep them on life support for as long as I have the option.

mk  ·  1861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Unfortunately for the NYT, kids these days don't have the value perspective you have that is based on a dead tree history. There needs to be a revenue model that fits their value perspective.

kleinbl00  ·  1861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the thing that's happening is that all those newspapers that existed as wire-service and ad-delivery media are dying a horrible death. I remain unconvinced that news per se is doomed, but I think we need to acquaint ourselves with a new revenue model other than "dead trees" or "free."

mk  ·  1861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Right. You aren't a NYT customer. Really, you aren't worth their bother.

And yet I am reading their content for free where I'd be willing to pay something. It seems sub-optimal. I figure that I read about 3 NYT articles a week, or 12 per month. I would happily pay $0.10 a read, and wouldn't mind ads. So, theoretically they could get $14.40 from me each year before ad revenue. Apparently Facebook's revenue per user is was $6.40 in 2013, and Twitter's was $2.76. Of course, it's apples to oranges, but at least the numbers are in the same neighborhood. With ad revenue, I might be worth $20 per year to NYT. It's far less than the $144 that b_b is paying, but it's significant.

I would have to think that they would have run the numbers and decided that it isn't viable. I suppose that one risk is that b_b would convert to a pay-per-read customer, and they wouldn't get four more customers like me to make up the difference. Also, credit card transaction costs are going to eat up a lot of that revenue, especially for customers that read less than I do. Finally, I would be less likely to subscribe to a NYT pay-per-article account than I would to a service that let me pay-per-article across a number of outlets.

b_b  ·  1861 days ago  ·  link  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
b_b  ·  1861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Finally, I would be less likely to subscribe to a NYT pay-per-article account than I would to a service that let me pay-per-article across a number of outlets.

Well, on this point we can actually agree. While I believe in certain institutions (NYT happens to be one), I would certainly like to see a media consortium that allows one to have access to multiple platforms. For example if something interesting comes up from a paper in Boise, I'm not going to pay them a month's worth of money for one thing, but they still deserve to get compensated for their writing. What to do in that case? A broad media consortium could be an interesting alternative. However, a behemoth like NYT or WSJ might be insulated from such a group.