Posted by: Josh Quittner on: September 14, 2009
Many of the Internet pure plays—such as CNET, AOL Media and Yahoo—won’t charge for content. Others, such as the NYT and WSJ, have said they will. Interesting Mediaweek roundup here.
The argument for and against is obvious.
My opinion: The Web always was and always will be free. It’s a surface medium, designed for skimming, not deep reading, and as such, users won’t ever pay for any one source of information. It’s like buying a single grain of rice—why pay for that when you can get a bowl for free?
The question now is: Will readers pay for it when it’s delivered on a lean-back, deep-reading device. I think they will.
The head of BPA Worldwide, which bills itself as the largest auditor of media in the world, says that as e-readers proliferate, the publishing industry runs the risk of being stuck with a “hybrid model” that values content somewhere between the Web and print.
I’m not following the reasoning; I actually think that if e-reader content has hybrid valuation, it’s the best of both worlds: The power of full-page, high-impact relevant print ads, coupled with the engagement metrics of the Web.
Link to The Australian, via BoSacks
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