Recently the editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, made a statement that most newspaper websites will be charging for content within a year. It is no secret that the newspaper industry has been hurting lately. With so many people turning to the web for their news, newspaper sales are down and the newpaper organizations have been trying to figure out a way to earn revenue online...
During his speech in London, Barber said that he is unsure of how newspaper organizations will be charging for content. He stated that charging on an article-by-article basis is an option, as well as charging a monthly subscription fee. Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation made a statement back in May proclaiming that his newspaper websites would likely be charging for content within a year as well, and a survey sent out recently by the New York Times asked subscribers if they would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee of $5 for access to their news content online.
Another aspect to take into consideration is what charging for content will do to bloggers. Countless bloggers rely on the free news provided by online news organizations for their content. Can bloggers afford to pay the monthly subscription fees? But, more importantly can they really afford not to pay the fees?
A move like this will either make or break the newspaper industry. If a subscription fee is put in place news sites could charge more for online ads because the ads would be reaching a more targeted demographic of subscribers, but would the number of readers drop so significantly that it would not pay off for the newspaper organizations in the long run?
No matter which way you spin it, the newspapers have to do something to compete in the digital age, and maybe charging for content is just the ticket. We will just have to wait and see.