Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

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.


Blogger echolalias said...

the day they stop printing the nytimes/g&m is the day i stop subscribing to the nytimes/g&m.

if there was a recorded ipod option...maybe. i'm a sucker for being read to. but that's not very likely to happen as long as computer voices put text together so shoddily. but if they worked out the kinks and i had the option of, say, anthony hopkins reading to me everything but christie blatchford articles...? i would go for it. mourning paper all the way. but i'd go for it.

2:43 PM, June 08, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

I enjoy audio books on car journies but I'm not sure about absorbing the NYT that way - it would be a heck of a podcast. Myabe you're just admitting an attrcation to extended british diction.

1:41 AM, June 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll always enjoy reading the 'tradtional' paper (no matter what city I'm in). There's just nothing like reading the paper on the patio in my pj's, drinking a cup of coffee & enjoying the sound of jazz in the background. Ahhhh, life is good!
Something Miami does is pay the homeless to sell their paper on the busy city street corners. People love it! As people stop at a light, they get the morning read handed to them for just $.50 , It's a win/win!

11:13 AM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger echolalias said...

oh, well admitted a thousand times over.

but my issue is transit. saturday/sunday, i really enjoy plunking down with a paper and enormous pot of coffee and marinating in the two.

every other day, i read the paper on the train, walking (only slightly more dangerous...and i tend to lose the sports section in transit..) etc. though my powerbook is with me, it's not really a good idea to have it out and reading. blackberries.. i just don't feel the need yet. powerbook+wireless everywhere...

so there's less of a difference between podcast and paper than there is between paper and hauling an open wireless (standing on toes and leaning towards strongest signal).

i just mean, if i had to give up paper, podcast it'd be. online? nada. besides. people listen to radio newscasts... news on tv. as long as they aren't ridiclous about it, it's more than tolerable.

3:23 PM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

I'll happily continue my research in Miami (or anywhere else) and given the vagaries of my home delivery times that sounds like a great scheme.

And echolais, while I think it's good you admit you're fetishes, you raise a good issue about transit. The whole mobility/portability conundrum is one I intend to blog about when I have the right hanger for it.

5:09 AM, June 10, 2006  
Blogger Romerican said...

Anony, they have a similar program in Houston where homeless guys earn a few bucks hawking papers. I don't think they're paid by the newspaper itself, rather the newspaper makes an agreement with them whereby the homeless guy gets to keep the money he collects for selling. The paper improves it's dwindling circulation and looks good to the community. But it's important to note that people mostly buy the paper so the poor guy gets a greenback, not because they actually want to get their hands dirty reading 120 pages of advertisements.

7:18 AM, June 13, 2006  

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