Robin Good: A good short article by Felix Salmon at Reuters Blogs, highlights the importance of looking with different eyes at how to keep economically viable an online publishing venture that operates in a vertical niche.
He writes: "Professional-quality nanopublishing has never really worked online, because the ad-supported business model can’t make it work. In a world of micropayments, however, everything changes."
"...a niche long-form science-journalism website is never going to get the kind of scale which advertisers want.
Big-name brand advertisers want to reach lots of people lots of times. They’ll advertise on blogs, which can get audiences in the millions, but they’re not going to advertise on a site which only updates once a month or even once a week.
In general, the amount of inventory online is growing fast, and websites need to be able to keep up with that growth or start seeing their advertisers fall away, one by one.
With subscriptions, though, the math is much more compelling: if you get 20,000 people paying a buck apiece for that story, that’s $20,000, with no sales overhead; most of that money can end up going to editorial."