News Pricing Based on Consumption

Publishers want to be paid for their content. And I’m not talking about advertising. The fact is, they are starting to make us pay. It’s expected that 20% of the “dailies” will have pay walls up on their news sites by the end of the year. See here: The newsonomics of paywalls all over the world

But individual pay walls for consumers are shit. There is no way I’m independently giving my credit card to NY Times, the Atlanta Journal, Atlanta Business chronicle, etc all for their own non-consumption based monthly fees. This may work with the older generation who is loyal to “their paper brand” but not us. We want all the best information right now, regardless of the source.

Imagine an all access platform where the top 200 publications are members. Users get a single subscription that can access all the site’s content but only get charged by what gets consumed. Basically a pure play for news…

The platform could store & index my history, allow me to take notes and highlight like in Kindle, integrate with social sharing, blogger platforms, etc.

Under this scenario, I wouldn’t feel guilty for taking “free news”, the publishers would get paid (in a purely meritocratic way), and most importantly it would be low friction for the end user. Over the past few months, I found out about a company named NewsCred. They own great publisher relations & serve their licensed content to businesses. I wonder how hard it would be for them to open it up to consumers? Maybe really hard…this is the newspaper industry afterall.

What do you think?

Submit a Comment