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Robin Good's insight:
The Atlantic launches this week a paid, weekly curated selection of its best stories called the Atlantic Weekly.
From AdWeek: "The Atlantic Weekly will collect the week's best stories from TheAtlantic.com, The Atlantic Wire and The Atlantic Cities, as well as selections from its In Focus photo blog and an article from the magazine’s archive (reproduced as it originally appeared in print), reformatted as a magazine for the iPad and iPhone.
...will cost $1.99 for a single issue. Readers can also subscribe for $2.99 a month or $19.99 a year."
The reason for choosing this new direction sums up to this confession from editor in chief James Bennet: "Our concern has been that some of our better [online] pieces can get lost during the week, and that we’re not serving our readers as well on the weekend when there is time to lean back and digest a good idea."
"...will users pay for a magazine filled mostly with content that they can access for free on the Web?"
What do you think?
Original reporting from Adweek: http://www.adweek.com/news/press/atlantic-launches-paid-product-150392
Robin Good: At GigaOM, Mathew Ingram has a very good article on online newspapers and their rising problem with monetization.
If I had to synthesize its content and re-title it, I would write: "Traffic Is Worth Zero If You Are Looking for New Revenues - Try The Open Journalism Model".
Here a few key excerpts from the original article: "The problem for both the Post and the Guardian is the same as that confronting virtually every other major newspaper: print-advertising revenue, which a majority of papers rely on for the bulk of their income, continues to fall off a very large cliff..."
The alternatives, non-standard solutions, may be using the so-called Open Journalism model.
"Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger described them fairly succinctly...
in a nutshell, readers can contribute by providing their time, their information or their money.
"...trying to increase the ways in which its readers can contribute to or become involved in news stories — including opening up its story-assignment schedule to the public for commentary."
"...think of the relationship with readers as being about more than just money, and then let the monetization flow out of that relationship, rather than the reverse."
"...try the “reverse paywall” method suggested by Jeff Jarvis and former Washington Post managing editor Raju Narisetti...
...that encourages readers to “level up” and provide either more information about themselves or more effort in a variety of ways, and then gives them benefits as a result."
Truthful. Insightful. 9/10
The U.S. newspaper industry has lost more than $40 billion in ad revenue in the past decade — over half of that in the last four years alone — and Google’s ad revenues are now more than twice what the industry pulls in.
Robin Good's insight:
From the original article by Mathew Ingram on Paidcontent.org: "...ad revenue falling off a cliff about a decade ago, hitting a brief plateau in the mid-2000s and then free-falling over the next several years.
...Of course, all of that advertising revenue didn’t simply disappear overnight. So where did it go if it wasn’t going to newspapers? It went online, naturally — and the second chart shows the biggest beneficiary of that exodus: namely, Google."
Intruiguing hypothesis and data correlation. Must read. 8/10
*lots of interesting comments too
Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine considers the upside-down logic of paywalls at online newspapers, where low-value readers get their content for free while loyal, engaged readers are required to pay.
Instead Jarvis proposes that newspapers build the opposite — a system of credits that rewards readers for actions that show loyalty (and benefit) the publication, such as:
Jeff Jarvis wites: "Imagine that you pay to get access to The Times. Everyone does.
You pay for one article.
Or you pay $20 as a deposit so you’re not bothered every time you come.
But whenever you add value to The Times, you earn a credit that delays the next bill.
Maybe you never pay for The Times again because The Times has gained more value out of its relationship with you.
If, on the other hand, you hardly do any of those things, then you have to pay for using The Times."
"You see, that values the local reader over the remote reader.
My idea for the reverse meter values the engaged reader over the occasional reader — and even rewards greater engagement.
And therein lies, I think, the key strategic skill for news businesses online: understanding that all readers are not equal; knowing who your more valuable readers are; getting more of them; and making them more valuable."
"The key strategic opportunity for news sites is relationships — deeper, more valuable relationships with more (but not too many) people."
Read the full article: http://www.buzzmachine.com/2011/12/19/why-not-a-reverse-meter/