Friday, December 4, 2009

Paid-For News on Internet

I fail to understand how the pay-for-news-and-analysis business model works on the Internet. I would of course like to pay for news that is exclusive and analysis that is trenchant, leading to a distinct financial and strategic advantage for me. Such models can also work if scarcity is drummed up.
But this: news about Bing Maps??? I can read this on the Indian edition of the WSJ if and only if I subscribe to it. Wow! I thought! Must be really exclusive!
One search on the Internet and I get to know everything - everything - about Bing Maps. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
So why would someone pay for news?
News, on any media, should be free and easily accessible.
Business dealing with news can make money only through advertisements.
This is true of newspapers, true of news channels on TV and definitely true of news on Internet.

Coming back to WSJ, India.
I visit it regularly.
It has a collection of articles and news that interest me.
And when I encounter some article that is locked only for subscribers, I merely skip it; sure that I will find information on it from the Internet - free.

If you are a subscriber, perhaps you can explain me your point of view.

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