Nicole Godfrey, Client Services Director at Switched-On Group asked the question in LinkedIn’s ‘Digital Media Group – Australia and New Zealand’; here’s my 5 cents…
Would you be willing to pay a subscription fee for online news publications?
Yes (and I believe it *should* be charged, to ensure the top-notch Journos get paid decent $)… with conditions:-
(1) all mainstream news sites impose the charge [ie, I wouldn’t pay if SMH charged but The Age didn’t];
(2) the subscription model offers both pay-per-read and eat-all-you-want;
(3) the price is not higher than the printed publication
(4) access to paid content is cross-platform (no extra fees for getting that content on your mobile / kindle)
…they could also offer an alternative option: forced advertising viewing prior to getting ‘free’ access to the article. Personally I hate this, and would prefer to pay to have the advertising removed; but it does provide an option for those who want content for ‘free’ whilst ensuring the publisher & it’s staff also get compensated for their efforts.
I’m not suprised by people saying ‘no’ to paying for this content, as the standard for internet content being ‘free’ [via PC] was set a long time ago – it’s natural to not want to start paying for something that has been free for such a long time.
Given the expectation for paying for content differs across device, it would be very interesting to see how sentiment and price elasticity changes according the device that accesses it – ie, how much more/less would people be prepared to pay for the [same] content on their Kindle vs on their mobile phone vs over the internet?
As for me, I say, for quality journalism sake: ‘SAVE OUR JOURNOS’ and introduce better commercial models.