Tuesday, April 26, 2005


From an article in the Globe and Mail on newspapers and pay-to-read online content.

While The Globe offers far more free news content than the [Wall Street] Journal does, readers must register and pay for premium material. That assures advertisers they are getting a “tight niche audience,” said Sandra Mason, vice-president of The Globe's on-line businesses.

Like the Journal, The Globe can then charge higher rates for its on-line ads than other sites, she said.

Ms. Mason said one reason the paper has opted for a hybrid model with lots of free material is to ensure potential future Globe readers — in a younger demographic than current readers — are exposed to the paper's content.

So, the Globe can sell ads for more if those reading the articles have paid to read them. It this the whole story? Perhaps the Globe is also trying to use the subscription model online as well as a stream of revenue. They are part of the story and not necessarily able to report from a neutral perspective. Do we really expect to see further text like "Ms. Mason wouldn't comment on how much revenue The Globe makes through subscriptions"? No. They just don't dig deeper because they are in conflict of interest.

I don't know what will work for traditional media in terms of bringing in revene. The thing is, there's no law stating that traditional media should be guaranteed a place now and forever or that alternative news sources cannot displace them or force them to change.