Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Newspaper companies say they must be paid for their content online, then I get print subscription for $1.15 a week

I stopped subscribing to The Denver Post a few months ago, in part to experiment with reading it online through iGoogle and in part because I was getting so much more satisfaction from reading The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

The online experiment was scary, at least for a person who still loves newspapers. I discovered that it was pretty easy to live without the print edition and that although the iGoogle version wasn't the best experience, it gave me enough connection to Colorado news that I didn't feel like I needed more. I could read my favorite columnists on Google Reader, and I could pick up a lot of headlines on the radio or TV. I wasn't missing the satisfying reads that you occasionally find in the Post, because I still was getting other good magazines and newspapers.

But I just signed up to become a regular subscriber again. Why? Because I got a call offering me a subscription for $5 a month, or as the vendor told me, $1.15 a week. I was promised this fee would hold for a year, and that I could pay month by month, canceling at any time.

$1.15 a week. This from an industry that is shouting about how it needs to be paid for online content. I'm not sure what's driving the paper's decision to discount so heavily. But it tells me that an industry that regularly touts how valuable its content is still can't get over the need for high volume circulation and will go to great lengths to get it, even if it means sending the message that its content isn't anywhere near as valuable as it says it is. A conundrum that the industry is going to have to figure out.

Either its content is valuable or it isn't. And my latest subscription price tells me the latter is true, no matter what industry leaders say when they're trying to take it to the chins of Web competitors.


  1. Unfortunately, the former editor still thinks as only a journalist and not as a journalist-businessman. What fuels the engine of any business is revenue and for newspapers that is ad revenue. ROP rates are impacted by circulation but the big dollars come from preprints, which are sold on a cost-per-thousand basis. An additional 1,000 of circulation means a whole lot of money to the paper -- enough money to more than warrant "buying" circulation. It saddens me to see Temple continue to sit back and throw tomatoes at an industry that once was very good to him. He and his paper lost the Denver battle because in one way or another they just weren't good enough to be the winner. Get over it and move on -- don't be a hater.

  2. Noonie is incorrect: adding 1000 subscribers makes very little difference, because newspapers have no pricing power anymore when it comes to advertising. The battle at many newspaper now is not building circulation, it's holding on to it as long as possible, no matter what that costs in subscription rate concessions; this strategy is seen as part of "protecting print," as is the strategy to somehow charge for online access. So the conundrum posed by John is reconciled if you look at it this way: giving away print while charging online may help to prolong the profitability of print.

    The problem with this idea is that it's not a sustainable business model in the long run, because it will not entice younger readers back to print. The average print reader is now around 60 and getting older by the day; the older readers who depart this world will never be replaced by equivalent numbers of new readers. Add to this the migration of advertising to the Web (the current losses of 30 percent each quarter in print will not be reversed - a lot of those dollars, if reinstated in ad budgets, will go online). So newspapers are willingly going down the path of passenger railroads, typewriters, horsedrawn transportation and all the rest, without finding a good way to move into the businesses that are disrupting them.

    The right strategy would be: turn print into a niche product, a sideline to your digital enterprise. Raise prices for print delivery to whatever it takes to maintain some profitability, but keep nearly all online content free. Transform newsrooms and ad sales departments into online-first teams; fully develop the potential of the Web with new kinds of content and new kinds of advertising.

  3. Hi,
    I appreciate the labor you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.


  4. Hi,
    i like your article and it's really informative information.i like this type of article..

    nintendo r4

  5. You are an excellent writter. I read the third post of your blog and it is just fantastic to read it as others. Good on you.

    memory stick pro duo

  6. Very informative and well written post! Quite interesting and nice topic chosen for the post.
    pet meds

  7. I just got registered on this rich website. can a researcher from a third world country ( one without remote sensing facilities for research purposes) carry out remote sensing/ field using your website?

  8. You described it very beautiful. your writing style grabbed my intentions,would love to read more about it… long frocks

  9. I also run a site and if you want to ever serious in a little bit of guest writing for me if feasible really feel free to let me know, i’m always look for people to examine out my site. new bridal dress

  10. Magento is one of the best ecommerce applications for anyone who wants to save time for selling website. Let’s find out some information of our applications such as magento pos for magento.
    airbnb clone script is an useful online booking service, let’s imagine that you post your hotel, motel onto the website and the potential customers will find you. Why don’t you try these applications: Airbnb Clone Script, best airbnb clone. They are valuable and practical; I promise that you will extremely love it.
    If you feel airbnb clone doen’t appropriate with you business, let’s make another selection such as magento booking extension, magento booking system, magento booking hotel, magento booking reservation, magento booking extension. Maybe this will be a big change for your business.
    See our products :
    fancy product designer -
    Fee download wordpress theme
    Fee download joomla theme
    Fee download magento theme

  11. This article is very interesting, the writing is very vivid, very pleasant surprise pole; At this point, I do not know what I want to describe. At least the next year or so for his college fund contribution, I get a university degree. Buy bollywood sarees

  12. All the best blogs that is very useful for keeping me share the ideas
    of the future as well this is really what I was looking for, and I am
    very happy to come here. Thank you very much
    earn to die
    earn to die 2
    earn to die 3
    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    earn to die 4
    courage to go ahead and give youu a shout out from
    earn to die 6
    Austin Texas! Just wanted to tell
    earn to die 5
    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    happy wheels
    strike force heroes
    you keep up the fantastic work!my weblog
    age of war
    earn to die 5
    good game empire

  13. Good blog post. I want to thank you for interesting and helpful information and I like your point of view. Thank you!
    slither io | wings io | science kombat | tank trouble 4

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Super website with a great sharing and amazing stories is ur web.. please keep doing what u do now.. thanks to you.
    Agen Bola Resmi

    Bandar bola

    Agen Bola Terpercaya

    Agen Bola Terbesar

    Agen Bola online

    Judi bola

    Berita Bola

    Agen Sbobet

    Agen Ibcbet

  16. This is one of the cult game now, a lot of people enjoy playing them . Also you can refer to the game :
    gold mine strike | pokemon go 2
    The game controls are shown just under . Movement mechanisms primarily include acceleration and tilting controls.
    stickman games | stick war 2 | animal jam 2

  17. The bank you have been utilizing as far back as was guaranteed of your validity on account of standard exchanges. The same may not have any significant bearing to advance suppliers who are managing you surprisingly. Cash Advance Chicago

  18. Jabong is one of the top online fashion related website you can get jabong cashback Offers that

  19. makemytrip is one of the biggest world wide eCommerce Site so here you will get makemytrip cashback offers


  20. Amazon is one of the biggest world wide eCommerce Site so here you will getAmazon Best Offersso


  21. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write.
    Thanks for sharing !
    tanki online 2 | 2048 game online