Thursday, February 5, 2009

How To Save Your Newspaper

On today, Walter Isaacson has an interesting piece on the state of the newspaper biz. His take? Sooner or later, newspapers are going to have to ask their online readers to pay for content. And he validly points out that naysayers should think about other industries that have managed to get their users used to paying for online content - for instance, Apple.
He says: In addition, our two most creative digital innovators have shown that a pay-per-drink model can work when it's made easy enough: Steve Jobs got music consumers (of all people) comfortable with the concept of paying 99 cents for a tune instead of Napsterizing an entire industry, and Jeff Bezos with his Kindle showed that consumers would buy electronic versions of books, magazines and newspapers if purchases could be done simply.
Its an intriguing idea, I think. Isaacson goes on to talk about the fact that newspapers could likely charge a nickle per article, or even a slightly higher fee for all-day access, or a whole newspaper's worth of articles. So what do you think? Would you be willing to pay for something like what Isaacson describes?