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Old 06-19-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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NY Times online division revenues are growing

The NY Times has announced that online revenues are growing. Significant online revenues for major media player are essential to the ongoing availability of free content. While the NYTimes reports almost half a million subscribers (with more than 1/3 of those being online subscriptions, rather than as a benefit to the home delivery subscriptions), the best results seem to be coming from advertising revenues.

It is still not clear what the business model will be for the major online news organizations. As much as we may be frustrated by the major news organizations and news bias, Blogs and amateur content providers will probably never fill their role completely. The reputation of a major news organization holds them to standards of accuracy that may not be perfect, but are definitely higher standards than the average news blog. We need news sources that we can trust at some level. And it would be a shame if the model shifts to pay subscriptions.

Well, unless there is some kind of revenue sharing agreement that makes a wide selection of content available cheaply... say $10/year, with revenues being distributed based on what content is being viewed. Privacy issues aside, such a scheme might both support availability of stories from the best media, and also keep costs down for the consumer. Of course, once the concept of payment for a service is accepted, there is a tendency with monopoly power for that price to skyrocket.

But who knows? Maybe something like that could work for music and video also. At any rate, everyone is still looking for that perfect solution. The unfortunately thing is that the perfect solution for publishers may not be the same as the perfect solution for consumers. Let's see who wins, and by how much.

Via Poynter Online.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:26 AM   #2
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The model is probably good enough but to get subscribers, the paper also needs to have content that people are interested in: NYT is a socialist rag and that very much limits who wants to pay.

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