Friday, January 22, 2010

"If I stop to think about the business model, it is sometimes quite scary."

Who said that?

No other than Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger speaking to journalism students last week whilst reiterating that paywalls will not be surrounding his paper.

But as John Gapper writes in the FT,

In any other industry, charging customers would not be a radical idea.

For him the myth of the link economy needs to be addressed

believing that any gains from subscriptions will be outweighed by losses in advertising and brand equity.
adding that

The point that link economy enthusiasts miss, I think, is that the trade-off between subscription and advertising is not a zero-sum game. Rates for online display ads have been falling steadily as competition has proliferated, with most sites now finding it hard to get more than $4 per 1,000 impressions on their pages (or $14m for the 3.5bn hits on all US newspaper sites monthly).

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