The New York Times announced the details of their ‘pay for play’ model this week in an email to all of their digital subscribers, as well as through posts on their website – informing it’s readers of the specifics of how we can best access their content moving forward. Break out your wallet, it’s gonna cost you. Personally, I’m not a fan of paywalls. I understand these publishers have a business to run, but I think that there are other ways to monetize.
In this instance, you’ll have to pony up $35 a month if you want to access content across all your digital devices. That’s ridiculous. If I want to read on my computer, my iPhone, or my iPad (when I get one) there is not one rate. If I want to consume digitally on my computer + my iPhone it costs me $15/mo. If I want that same access on my iPad – it doesn’t simply fold in an extra fee – it starts the meter all over again and charges me $20/mo. If I want all three, again – not a sliding scale but a whopping double dip @ $35/mo. I’m not sure who the financial genius is that devised this subscription model, but they must think very little of the math skills of their loyal subscribers.
There were dozens of article released this week that covered this ‘reveal’ by the NYTimes. One of the best is a deep analysis by John Hudson over at the Atlantic. I specifically love this quote by Megan Garber of Nieman Lab:
“Do people care enough about the Times, as a brand, to pay for content that they can generally get somewhere else? Given the myriad side-door options for article entry, do they care enough about convenience to pay a premium for a friction-free news experience?”
My perspective? No – people will find loopholes to access this content for free – as demonstrated by TechCrunch and the Business Insider. Clearly I have a strong perspective on this – as you can see through many of my tweets this week. I stopped reading the WSJ when they went to a pay for play model, and might just do the same thing for the NYTimes. There are a few columnists that I’ll use my allotment on – namely David Pogue and Stuart Elliott. What I’ll miss most? My New York Times iPhone app – a staple of my plane reading list. I’m sure Google and Instapaper will provide me a way to resolve that soon enough, however.
Oh, and finally – if you clicked on either of the links above where the Times shows you what you get for your ‘investment’ – I’m sorry, I’ve just taken one of your 20 ‘free’ articles away from you. 19, 18…
Media, Traditional Media
A study recently released by UCSD describes in detail the amount of data Americans consume on a yearly basis. A snippet below gives a quick glance at the staggering numbers…
“In 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totaled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes.“
Artist Rob Vargas puts those numbers in a more visual (and humorous) depiction (via FastCompany):
Marketing, Traditional Media
Recently I had the opportunity to share some thoughts with Jim Hopkinson of the Hopkinson Report about my vision of the future of advertising and the effect of social media on that traditional craft. I’ve done a fair bit of public speaking, but this is my first podcast and it was great to do – Jim is good at his trade. I’d like to think that I represented a collective vision for all the smart people at Intel that are doing breakthrough work in the advertising and social media space. If you have a spare twenty minutes and care to gain some insight on my thoughts, give a listen or download from iTunes for your next commute. In addition, if you’d like to read the full transcript instead of taking in the audio stream, that’s available on the site as well.
Advertising, Social Media, Traditional Media
When I think of Google, I envision everything they do centering around an online presence – including the way they promote their goods and services. Very rarely do I look for an advertisement promoting Google’s wares in an offline environment – not in a magazine, newspaper, or TV – and certainly not on a billboard?!! Well – that all changed recently… Yes – Google has gone traditional in promoting their new Enterprise web-based suite of messaging and collaboration applications. Interesting approach, and not the first time they have gone offline to attract users to their cloud applications, as reported by BrandWeek today. Here’s the curious thing - if you take a good hard look at how the message is displayed on a the billboard, there are less than 140 characters AND a short url. Coincedence or foreshadowing of a future ‘Google App’?
Advertising, Traditional Media
Clipped from FastCompany:
“A new study by Cornell researchers shows that traditional (old-media) news outlets lead the blogosphere by 2.5 hours when it comes to breaking news.”
What I found most interesting is the methodology with which the Cornell researchers used to make their case:
“Instead of examining a few case-study pieces of news and extrapolating the behavior of the different media outlets from these limited cases, it used a powerful algorithmic search. 1.6 million mainstream media and blog Web sites were analyzed in real-time, and to see how news propagated through them all specific phrases were sampled from each site and compared to see how they appeared elsewhere”
Excellent work – base an analysis on a significant amount of data, rather than a myopic view of a few sample pieces of news – I applaud this. It also shows a need to balance the two mediums rather than assume all breaking news lies solely in the ’new media’ ecosystem.
Social Media, Traditional Media
From Forrester Research:
“This growth is due to marketers seeking lower cost, more accountable channels which are also widely used by their customers. This year, we are also finding that marketers are migrating dollars away from traditional channels and into interactive ones.”
Cheaper, Measurable, and Useful. Novel concept.
Chas Edwards, Chief Revenue Officer @ Federated Media discusses the need for B2B publishers to migrate to digital faster. Even though they are increasing their online activities, that growth failed to offset B2B media companies decline last year.
Digital Marketing, Traditional Media
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…