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Monday, November 30, 2009

Would you pay?

We have got rather used to the internet content being free. The idea of actually paying to read something online seems to be an anathema, when it was rumoured that Facebook was going to charge for use there was uproar.

I heard today that Johnston Press, a large regional newpaper company, is to charge for access to online content from six of its titles. News International are considering doing the same next year. So far the only newspaper site to charge is the Financial Times.

The newspapers are seeing falling circulation and advertising figures and are trying to drag revenue from the their online presence.

So would you pay? My natural response is no. I seldom read a newspaper anyway and virtually never look at the online additions. If I want news I go to the BBC website (Mr Murdoch and his cohorts loathe the BBC, which is enough reason for me to like it !).

Dragging money out of the net for content is rather difficult, the net has traditionally been free so we are all used to not paying. It is an odd mindset, I expect to pay for a physical magazine but not for the online version - and I do see the total hypocrisy in that attitude.

Perhaps with electronic readers becoming more usable we'll be willing to pay to download an electronic version. This of course isn't new, even before the net we had the music industry complaining about music piracy.


holdingmoments said...

I'm with you on this Pete.
No telly, don't buy papers; I get my news from the BBC website. And there's plenty of news information out there for free on other sites. Long may it stay that way too.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, it's a dilemma... I suspect if I had to pay to go on a site, I would think carefully about it, and probably not go for it.

I only read newspapers nowadays if they happen to fall into my hands (and aren't forcibly removed by someone thinking they had successfully bagsied their cafe seat with a copy of The Daily Express...)