The digital model

On Monday, I noted how the Wall Street Journal and New York Times were the only two media companies that can make money with their digital offerings. So what do the rest of us do? It’s fairly simply. Come up with a subscription plan that includes all of your print and digital offerings.

Newspapers now have four platforms for information distribution — print, online, mobile, and, shortly e-readers. For those that don’t want to jump into the e-reader fray, netbooks might be an option.

Many media companies make the mistake of looking at each of these products separately. They charge a subscription price for newspapers, might charge on an IPhone app, are trying to charge for online, and then will hit customers again with an e-reader charge. Users aren’t going to pay four time for information. But they might pay for a bundled package that gives them what they want on the platforms they feel like using at the time.

On Sunday mornings, I want my strong cup of coffee, my recliner, and my newspaper. When I’m on the run, I have my phone for quick bits of information (sports scores, stock prices, weather) and breaking news. I use my laptop scour my favorite local news site for updates in the evening, and I can envision using an e-reader to get subscriptions to my favorite newspapers and magazines.

All media companies need is a bundling plan that makes sense. That’s where the money is.

The views on this blog are mine and mine alone.


One thought on “The digital model

  1. Jeff Achen says:

    I agree Ray, you’re on to something here. We also need our sales departments to bundle online and print advertising packages, instead of trying to sell them separately. It’s going to be a tough transition while there’s so much free stuff out there, but the more the leading news producers move to this paid model, the easier it could get. We wanna talk about unsustainable, free information is unsustainable…

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