It’s a delicate discussion and one that I don’t have all the answers for. But I can at least provide some food for thought.
The big question newspapers want answered is: How do you get people to pay for something they already get for free?
The answer is, you can’t. That is unless you have exclusive content that none of your competitors have.
For years people watched TV for free and still do. But there was a day when the thought of paying for TV seemed ludicrous. Yet, cable television is now a global phenomena. Why? It has content no one else has and so people are happy to pay.
Can newspapers learn something from TV? Perhaps.
The question shouldn’t be “how do we get people to pay for our content?” Rather it should be “how do we make our content so exclusive that people have no choice but want to pay for it?”
Print is dying and re-emerging via apps on tablet computers. Therein lies a great opportunity to use amazing technology to enhance the readers experience.
Just like cable TV buys a hit show or sporting rights, online newspapers might think about buying great content. And content isn’t just words. It’s photos, video, games, social networking and other interactive entertainment.
I’m talking about unique B2B relationships that strengthen the appeal of an online newspaper. The kind of B2B relationships that give an online newspaper an advantage over news sites who only offer news.
Something to think about huh.