Preparing for Change 25 Years Too Late?
Paid content model is easy to implement, but hard to sell when ads are involved.
NEW YORK‚ÄĒAt the Bryant Park Hotel last night, a discussion sponsored by Bluewolf, a technology consulting company (with the generic sounding title ‚ÄúFuture of Media: Preparing for Change‚ÄĚ) kicked off with a video clip from 1981 about the San Francisco Examiner‚Äôs first experiments putting print content online.
It‚Äôs a bit disconcerting that a few of the same major issues that media companies were grappling with in 1981‚ÄĒlike paid content models and the Web putting print employees out of jobs‚ÄĒare plaguing the industry today.
During a Q&A session‚ÄĒwith media executives from Google to the Buffalo News weighing in‚ÄĒkeynoter Clay Shirkey, technologist, professor of interactive telecommunications at New York University and ‚Äúthe provocative voice of all things Internet,‚ÄĚ said this: ‚ÄúMedia companies keep talking about paid content, and as a result are really just restating the problem.‚ÄĚ
Shirky believes that the next step in the publishing model is paid content through online subscriptions, something which, he says, has been ‚Äúunexplored.‚ÄĚ He cited magazines like Cook‚Äôs Illustrated and Consumer Reports as examples of this success. ‚ÄúThe model is easy enough that anyone can implement it by next Thursday‚Ä¶but in order to get readers to pay for online subscriptions, you have to offer something on their behalf, like no advertising.‚ÄĚ
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