Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Delicious Today: paywall model

Interesting findings from the paidContent:UK/Harris Interactive poll:

#1: Only Five Percent Of UK Readers Would Pay For Online News
"If their favourite news site begins charging for access to content, 75% of people would simply switch to an alternative free news source. Just 5% of those readers would choose to pay to continue reading the site. And 8% would continue reading the site’s free headlines only."
#2: Readers Prefer Subscriptions To Micropayments

"Per-article fees (ie. micropayments) are the favourite option for 21 percent. A day pass giving unlimited articles within a 24-hour period is favoured by 26 percent. But a subscription of up to a year is the most desired model, supported by 54 percent."
#3: How Much Do Readers Say They’d Pay?
"Answer: as close to nothing as they can get away with... That’s a wake-up call to publishers who think their content is worth something - in this day and age, it will have to work hard to earn a fee."
#4: Will bundling a newspaper subscription help?
"While only five percent of people who read a news site at least once a month told us they would pay for online access, when you throw in a free or discounted subscription to the printed paper, that rises to a combined 48 percent. ... The message is loud and clear - people continue to believe that touchable products command tangible economic value but, divorced from physicality and its associated costs, that digital content should manifest itself cheaper."
The fourth finding is most interesting and relevant to public broadcasting. It can be applied to the membership model of public radio and televison stations. For some members like my dear friends Emy and Paul, pledging is a noble thing to do, a civic duty; they don't want any tangible thing in return because that will make the pledge feel like a business transaction. In contrast, some members pledge because they want the tangible gift included in the membership. We have to design our membership model carefully to cater to both types of members.

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