Lots of people have lots of opinions about news and information online and what the future might be for mainstream media in a time of declining circulations and advertising revenues, not to mention a severe recession.
The Financial Times seems to have got it right where others havenâ€™t, according to AdAge.com in a feature which points out that not only has the FT increased the price of its print newspaper, it also charges a fee to access its online content. At the same time, circulation and ad revenue are up.
Whatâ€™s the secret to the FTâ€™s success? Simple, says AdAge:
- People will pay for content — if the content is high quality and relevant to a niche
- When it comes to monetizing online, garnering a lot of eyeballs alone isn’t enough.
- Just because there’s a recession doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm.
As a user, Iâ€™ll distil it all down into a single word â€“ content.
Iâ€™m an FT.com paying subscriber, and have been for quite some years. Why do I pay? Certainly not for the general news: I can get that for free anywhere online.
No, Iâ€™m willing to pay for great content that I canâ€™t get anywhere else. Content written by people who write it for the FT and for no one else. Content that I find invaluable and, thus, am willing to pay for access to it.
I have the same feelings about The Economist, the only other publication that I am willing to pay for access to its content
Both have struck the right balance between content and price (and long may that hold).
Itâ€™s all about content. At the right price.