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Charging for online content: IT WORKS

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Shoeless Joe, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    The powers that be at our place finally recognized that giving the product away for free impacts subscribers. Apparently from the time we went full stories online in 2007 to now, we have lost 4K daily subscribers. Our circulation manager said we have been averaging more than 100 dropped subscriptions per month with the reason being "I can read it online for free."

    Last Thursday went posting three stories with 2-3 graphs, a headline roundup and a tag line that says if you want more, subscribe.

    By the end of the day Friday, we had picked up 70 new/renewed daily subscribers.
  2. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    It's not rocket science, especially if you're in a medium-sized market with little or no competition.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    So if they are a daily subscriber they get the web content, too?
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    What are you charging them?
  5. JimmyOlson

    JimmyOlson Member

    So you guys have gained 70 new subscribers. Awesome.

    What about the 3,930 that you haven't gained back? Also, how are these 70 new subscribers helping to raise the ad revenue to make the online model profitable?
  6. I have no problem with charging for online stuff. How many businesses give away their product for free? It might not stop the decline and even eventual elimination of newspapers, but it at least shows we're willing to try things.
  7. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    If you are a subscriber to the print edition, you automatically get online content as part of the package. If you are local, you must subscribe total. If you are out of town, they someone can subscribe to e-edition only. I'm not sure of the business end of it other than the 70 we got back in the first day.

    Jimmy, uh, yeah, there are still 3,930 still missing, but I don't think anyone expects everyone to starting paying on the first day.

    I have no dealings with the business end nor do I have a desire to, but from where I sit, it's a pretty good start right out of the gate.
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    If your paper had kept at it, there was maybe a chance you could have been the ones to figure out a viable online-only, free-site business model that would have saved the industry. But you didn't. And now we're all doomed. Selfish jerks.
  9. JimmyOlson

    JimmyOlson Member

    Shoeless Joe, it is absolutely a step in the right direction. But to title a thread "Charging for content: IT WORKS" when your paper is still in the baby steps of this process and still has a long way to go was a little confusing to me.

    Bravo to your shop for moving forward. Wish more papers did.
  10. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I couldn't come up with anything better at the time and didn't feel it necessary to give a thread title too much deep thought! ;D
  11. canucklehead

    canucklehead Member

    The people who are running our paper into the ground lie and include online views as subscribers. They go around trumpeting that circulation is up, when indeed the number of people who are actually buying our product is declining.
  12. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Sounds like most of my headlines...LOL
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