Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's the Paper, Stupid!

read the Op-Ed by Michael Kinsley @ NY Times.com
It (NYT) might even have a viable business model if it could sell the paper with nothing written on it.

"Micropayments are systems that make it easy to pay small amounts of money. (Your subway card is an example.) You could pay a nickel to read an article, or a dime for a whole day’s newspaper.

Well, maybe. But it would be a first. Newspaper readers have never paid for the content (words and photos). What they have paid for is the paper that content is printed on. A week of The Washington Post weighs about eight pounds and costs $1.81 for new subscribers, home-delivered. With newsprint (that’s the paper, not the ink) costing around $750 a metric ton, or 34 cents a pound, Post subscribers are getting almost a dollar’s worth of paper free every week — not to mention the ink, the delivery, etc. The Times is more svelte and more expensive. It might even have a viable business model if it could sell the paper with nothing written on it.
Here's the really good part:
A more promising idea is the opposite: give away the content without the paper. In theory, a reader who stops paying for the physical paper but continues to read the content online is doing the publisher a favor.
1, Use the web to find fans.
2. Use the web to find tribes.
3. Sell stuff to the tribes who come to your website.

This is not rocket science.

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