Don’t answer yet because the problem is complex and confusing.
An eyeball viewing content on the net isn’t worth as much as that same eyeball watching a TV commercial. We move you to the net at our own peril. Of course if we could charge viewers to subscribe to our product, as cable TV and satellite radio already do, we could supplement income from commercials and continue to pay the mortgage.
So far getting consumers to pay for web content isn’t very successful. At one time the NY Times had a partial paywall behind which its columnists and some other premium content lived. No more. The Wall Street Journal is currently somewhat successful in charging for much of its content. There aren’t many other examples.
Entire lines of business are dependent on getting the correct answer to this question which is why the Technology page on the NY Times website is so frustrating. Co-existing on one page are the following headlines:
- 80% of US Consumers Won’t Pay For Content
- About Half in US Would Pay For Online News, Study Finds.
Is there an editor in the house? Aren’t these mutually exclusive?
If the answer was easy we’d all be doing the right thing today instead of being petrified what we’ll do is wrong.
Blogger’s note: For clarity I used Photoshop to make the capture of the Times Technology page fit on your screen. Nothing germane to my point was removed.