Preparing for Change 25 Years Too Late?
Paid content model is easy to implement, but hard to sell when ads are involved.
NEW YORKâ€”At the Bryant Park Hotel last night, a discussion sponsored by Bluewolf, a technology consulting company (with the generic sounding title â€śFuture of Media: Preparing for Changeâ€ť) kicked off with a video clip from 1981 about the San Francisco Examinerâ€™s first experiments putting print content online.
Itâ€™s a bit disconcerting that a few of the same major issues that media companies were grappling with in 1981â€”like paid content models and the Web putting print employees out of jobsâ€”are plaguing the industry today.
During a Q&A sessionâ€”with media executives from Google to the Buffalo News weighing inâ€”keynoter Clay Shirkey, technologist, professor of interactive telecommunications at New York University and â€śthe provocative voice of all things Internet,â€ť said this: â€śMedia companies keep talking about paid content, and as a result are really just restating the problem.â€ť
Shirky believes that the next step in the publishing model is paid content through online subscriptions, something which, he says, has been â€śunexplored.â€ť He cited magazines like Cookâ€™s Illustrated and Consumer Reports as examples of this success. â€śThe model is easy enough that anyone can implement it by next Thursdayâ€¦but in order to get readers to pay for online subscriptions, you have to offer something on their behalf, like no advertising.â€ť
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