Giving It All Away.
Listening to yet another debate on the future of newspapers today, one point that shone through was the difficulty presented by younger demographics having become used to reading newspapers online for free. The challenge of earning revenue from them is a difficult one and I believe the free online versions may have been a strategic error.
It has failed to send the message that high-quality news gathering is an expensive business - just look at the difference in quality between the give-away newspapers in your location and the more traditional product.
Building online mass is one thing for a new business, but for the online incarnation of offline businesses, it is fraught with danger. In contrast to my discussion elsewhere, this is not price as promotion, but zero price as promotion and that has a very different impact on cashflow.