Monday, April 06, 2009

But You'd Have To Charge Them Even More!

CNN just did a mini-piece on the New York Times Co. threatening to shutter the Boston Globe. They had someone on saying that the problem was that newspapers long ago started distributing their content for free on the internets.

I imagine it's true the industry as a whole didn't spend enough time thinking about their online business model, but simply charging people for online access was never going to be the solution. Revenue from subscriptions and sales never paid the newspaper bills, advertising did. If people paid the equivalent of a print subscription for online access and didn't get a copy of the print edition, that would be a net loss for newspapers because online advertising revenue wouldn't make up for the lost print advertising revenue.

The point is that it's lost advertising revenue, not lost subscription revenue, that's the big problem.