Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where have media companies been over the past couple of decades?

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is starting The Daily Paper next month for people with an iPad. The reported price is 99 cents a week for a “paper” pushed to you every morning. (The New York Times plans to do something similar next year.)

Given the way I read online, a bit here, a bit there, returning several times a day when I'm bored, this seems to me to be a step backwards as it won’t have the attraction of continuous updates to the news being reported; and, assuming The Times and others go the same route, it would make me go to several different places to get what I need, though I do have to do that now. It’s a return to hearing the “thunk” of the paper hitting the front porch as you’re waking up, without the accompanying tactile pleasure of holding real paper in your hands.

The days of reading “The Paper” are just about over if I’m any example. Most people with access to the internet get their news from a variety of sources. But, most people on the internet aren’t going to pay 99 cents here and another 99 there. They want a place to go.

Paying for online news is going to become a reality over the next couple of years. I really wish someone (Google, Apple, Amazon are you listening?) would get it right and aggregate everything that’s out there, charge me a reasonable price and let me have at it.

Google has the perfect model with the opposite of AdSense. Put everything behind a wall, charge the reader and distribute the money to those that get the hits. Quality (or at least popularity) gets paid and the also-rans drop out.
Apple’s iTunes or would be a second best model. Log on to “iNews” or “ANews” and buy what you want.

The days of the corner store started to end when the mall was invented. Amazon knew that when it built its online mall. Why don’t the media companies understand this?

I wish I had a billion bucks to bet on this.

1 comment:

The Curmudgeon said...

I'm still pulling for the "everything is free" model -- at least, that is, until someone wants to buy what I write....