Thursday, November 19, 2009

Newspapers Hold Out Hope for Paid Models

Everyone agrees that the newspaper industry is struggling. What they disagree about, sometimes vehemently, is the solution: going online-only, seeking nonprofit status and taking advantage of tax breaks, removing information from search engine results, or charging for content.

While paid models are not currently very popular, a surprising number of North American papers are considering charging for online content according to the preliminary results of an American Press Institute (API) study conducted by ITZ Publishing and Belden Interactive. Nearly 60% of member publishers polled by the API were considering charging for content that was currently free, and one-quarter expected to have a paid strategy in place within six months.

Paid content strategies were seen as important for capturing new revenues and preserving print readership, as well as for establishing the value of copyrighted content, a major concern voiced by news organizations amid the popularity of social media and blogs.

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