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The New Cost of Traditional Media? Better Content

April 23rd, 2009

As we move progressively faster into the digital world, where real time information is readily available through small screens (phones) and big screens (web enabled TVs) alike, publishers will need to focus on content that transcends the real-time web.  Those that don’t, won’t survive.  The Economist is a shining example of focused, rich content.  Per a recent report in the NY Times, they are also leading a trend for publications increasing their subscription cost – even in a down economy.  Their rationale?  Loyal, involved, and interested readership – willing to pay a premium for good content.  It’s paying off .  Despite the dramatic increase in the cover price (60% rise in 5 years), circulation is up and purchases @ the newsstand have increased by 50%.  From Alan Press, senior vice president for marketing in the Americas at the Economist Group:

We get more money out of our readers than advertisers, and that’s a very different model….We’ll never discount the kind of content we have.

In a time when we are willing to shoulder a higher cost for our cable subscription, over-priced concert tickets, or even a super-sized meal at our favorite fast food restaurant, it would be a shame to shun a slightly higher price for an avenue to actually learn something…

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