Can Newspapers Survive? is the topic of my latest RealClearPolitics.com column, which, among other things, tackles the $64,000 question: how do you get people to pay for stuff they read online? I have an answer. Maybe.
Walter Isaacson, former managing editor of Time, recently got into the fray with a proposal to make web media content available for micropayments similar to iTunes… If you see a link to an interesting article on, say, The San Jose Mercury News website, you don’t have to buy a $20 subscription to the publication – you can pay a nickel or a dime to read the individual item.
While this is a promising idea, it has substantial drawbacks. Those nickels and dimes can add up, and if your monthly bill is high enough, you may think twice the next time you feel like clicking on a link.
A better approach may be to make news and analysis content available only through media portals or carriers, similar to cable television providers. A subscription to a carrier would give access to any news site (newspaper, magazine, blog) that is a part of its package.
Read the rest. Add your thoughts, praise my acumen, or tell me why I’m so wrong it’s not even funny.