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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Some options for charging for online content

As most newspapers are figuring out how to turn a profit on the Internet, The Globe and Mail summarizes several cases of varying strategies. The example always mentioned, The Wall Street Journal, releases very few articles for free, but has an advantage in that it provides specialized information for businesses and financial firms. More general papers usually have trouble charging for online material because so much breaking news can easily be found for free on other sites, so if they want to charge for their content, they usually opt for a mixed model, charging for certain columns and/or archives. Some, such as the Winnipeg Free Press, are looking to sell subscriptions for an exact digital replica of the print version since they don't earn much from their website to which more and more people are going to read its news. Leonard Asper, CEO of CanWest Global Communications Corp which sells its electronic editions for about 10 Canadian dollars a month, would like to make his entire company digital. The Globe and Mail has adopted an integrated strategy, leaving a lot of material free, mainly to attract younger readers to their content, and providing "premium content" at a price. Individual papers may have to test their own readerships willingness to pay for content through trial and error.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Posted by john burke on April 28, 2005 at 05:58 PM | Permalink

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