You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘subscription’ tag.

Just as some publishers are moving to a metered and other pay wall systems, many others — really, the vast majority — aren’t. Reason: All sorts of research shows people, by in large, won’t pay for content.

That’s no surprise. No one has ever paid for content.  They’ve always paid for the convenience of getting their product to their door, whether via newspaper delivery boy or mail. That’s why asking whether someone would pay for content misses the point entirely.

The question should always be: are you willing to pay for the convenience of getting the information you want in whatever form you want it? That form can include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, print, electronic editions and whatever other form comes about.

Framing the question around the convenience of delivery would bring a much different answer. People are all about convenience; that’s why satellite and cable TV continue to do well in a time that no one really needs them. They bundle a large number of services and deliver it to you in a tidy package that’s easy to access.

Publishers should spend more time focusing on the convenience factor. Not only does it bring clarity to how they should position their product offering, but it also will help lead to decisions about what to include in their product bundle.

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.