Should We Pay For Online News?

I don’t know if this is the path for everyone, but it is for some

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

If you’re like me, you probably read the news online, either though your phone, tablet or laptop. It’s likely that millions of people are doing the exact same thing.

But sometimes I click on an article and it shows only the first sentence of the story and there’s a message that says, “This story is for paid subscribers. Please start a paid membership today.”

What’s going on?

Recently I wrote a story about how I miss the newspaper being delivered at home every morning and how wonderful it was back then.

Things have changed.

The vast majority of those paid print newspaper subscriptions have gone the way of the dinosaurs. They are long gone and never coming back.

Well, guess what? Newspapers and media companies really miss the revenue from those subscriptions, and they also don’t receive nearly as many advertisements for the printed paper that many don’t even have any more.

Revenue and income for newspaper and other publications have dried up and many are going out of business or close to something that drastic.

So to make up for the lack of money coming in, many news companies are restricting their content to paid memberships, and that makes sense to them if they want to survive and keep paying their investors and employees.

Imagine that you are an online newspaper and that you want to stay in business. What can you do about it?

Well, not much. There are mountains of free content all over the internet and it is hard to compete with free.

The world has changed with the internet and it is still changing at an accelerated pace. People are so accustomed to free content that it is going to be difficult to get readers to go through the effort of creating a profile and paying for content.

But there are steps that might convince people to pay a monthly fee:

  • Make the monthly cost affordable
  • Allow for easy cancellation
  • Find ways to appreciate your paying subscribers
  • Provide exclusive content
  • Consider a rewards or loyalty program for subscribers that continue their membership
  • Provide opportunities for subscribers to interact with their favorite writers in a web meeting

The world of news content is fast and snippets fly all across the web at lightning speed. People get their information from dozens of sources every day.

Most content is completely free. So to get people to pay for online subscriptions for newspapers and magazines, media companies are going to need to make a good offer in order to get people to sign to for paid online subscriptions.

Written by

writer and novelist. traveler and adventurer. looking for fun in the sun. chasing the dream. can't stop the feeling that time is going faster.

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