Tweet this! Why paywalls are failing the news industry
The news is still free if you know where to look.
It's something you have probably experienced firsthand. Coffee in hand, you surf to your favorite online news source (after Catholic Online), find an engaging topic only to click the link and be told that to read the rest of the story, you'll have to subscribe.
The WSJ is one of the few publications to successfully maintain print and online viability by providing unique value to readers.
It isn't news that the news publication industry is suffering. Print is a loss for most newspapers now and online delivers miniscule returns. Newspapers have survived only by slashing overhead, closing presses, laying off workers, cutting journalists and turning to bloggers and amateur newshounds for coverage.
The result is that a few major media outlets dominate the news and hundreds of smaller outlets are scrambling desperately to capture revenues and remain afloat.
According to the blog, "Reflections of a Newsosaur," about a third of all publications are charging for their content. However, not many people are paying for it.
It's a challenge for publications to get subscribers because the news is still free on the internet. Major news outlets still provide free access to the news. Few people are willing to pay for news when the same content is free elsewhere.
The only solution for publishers is to provide value to readers. Publications such as the Wall Street Journal are capable of providing unique value to readers, so business-minded readers are willing to pay for the subscription which not only informs a conservative, pro-business worldview, but is also a bit of a status symbol.
Few publications can claim such a superb reputation. Some local publishers have had success, especially if they have a virtual monopoly on local news coverage, but these scenarios are rare.
Michael Galloway, publisher of Catholic Online shared this with Newsosaur.
"The NYTimes and WSJ are the exception not the norm. Cowboy and Indian days are gone. Never to come back. The heyday of the newspapers is GONE. They will never make the same dollars as they did before. NEVER. Their massive infrastructure is still their major cost and will be their major downfall. The numbers never lie. Most people who use the internet just will not pay for news. Again, the numbers reflect this. Gannett can wish all they want but the facts are quite clear, the numbers never lie.
"Social networking has taught many things but one thing is quite clear, possibly the majority of people do not care about Old Newspaper BRANDS any more. They just have no loyalty toward them. This is why you see the new news brands popping up and doing fantastic. ie... The Blaze, HuffPost, The Daily Beast and more... One reason why is they are digital, they have no printing presses or ten-story building to support. Just as China has done to the USA in manufacturing, so is the digital news doing to traditional newspapers. They cannot and will not win again.
"I love paywalls as I am the largest publisher of Catholic news at Catholic Online (catholic.org). Paywalls bring me a massive amount of traffic.
"Here are our stats right out of Google Analytics - 2013 vs 2012 to date...
Visits 24.04% increase
Unique Visitors 27.32% increase
Pageviews 21.36% increase
"The numbers never lie. People now in general have an attention span of about 5 seconds. Twitter is the world's largest direct communication software platform. Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. This is the youth of today. Graphics and videos are the attentions grabber, not text.
"I love paywalls. As a publisher and believer in this new business model, many companies like Gannett continue their behavior and keep driving traffic and readers to news orgs like mine.
"New Business formula:
Pageviews equal Ad impressions equal REVENUE. You can carve this in stone."
Paywalls don't work, at least not for the organizations that are attempting to employ them. The only thing that works is value. Providing value in news, which generally occurs in the public, is difficult to do. Companies must either provide a valued worldview or some other uniqueness that people are willing to pay for.
Otherwise, a different revenue model needs to be found.
For their part, consumers should realize that free news comes from a tightly controlled, privately-owned media consortium which controls what news is told, how it's spun, and how much attention to give to the matter. These corporations also control large media empires including television, which subsidizes their online publishing. Ultimately, if the public does not mind this level of filtering and spoon-feeding of their news, then free news will continue to rule the day. Meanwhile, the paywall-dependent organizations will continue to lose money until they change their business model or go out of business.
Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Business & Economics News
- Wowza! Restaurant starts charging diners for Obamacare
- Time banking - where time is BETTER than MONEY
- Google tops Exxon as world's second-most valuable company - for a day
- Bill Gates thinks poverty will be eliminated by 2035... But he's missing this one thing!
- World's richest playboys forgot to address the world's most serious problems between parties in Davos
- CROWDFUNDING: Brother, can you spare - funding for my new movie project?
- Here we go again! Increase the government's borrowing limit before late February, Treasury Secretary warns
- Pope Francis sends a message to Davos elites -- they'd do well to listen
- For each baby born since Obama took office, debt has increased by $1,608,304
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
Disclaimer: The columns, articles, advertisers claims and any other features provided on Catholic Online Business & Economics are provided for personal finance and investment information and are not to be construed as investment advice. Under no circumstances does the information in this content represent a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. The views and opinions expressed in an article or column are the author's own and not necessarily those of Catholic Online and there is no implied endorsement by Catholic Online of any advice or trading strategy.