La Republica, Costa Rica’s business newspaper will soon be charging for online content. The Larepublica.net will allow non-subscription readers up to five “premium” articles per month, along with the rest of the online content.
La Republica is following a trend in online news going to paid content.
Many online publications are finding that a major portion of revenue for news and information each month is derived from subscription revenue…this allows for the improvement of services.
The charging for content is said to be a correction of the so-called “original sin” of the online news business — namely, a failure to charge for content when the web was new. One of the latest manifestations of this idea appears in an e-book called “Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future,” from former Wall Street Journal executive Richard Tofel, which looks at the failure of newspapers on a number of levels.
Online news readership overtakes newspapers
What is worrisome to newspaper publishers is that online news readership has overtaken print newspapers. Today, more of us are getting our news from the Web than from newspapers. The Internet now trails only television among American adults as a destination for the news.
Many news organizations now deliver their online content on mobile platforms, in particular mobile apps, to provide new ways to generate subscriber and advertising revenues in local markets.
Most owners of mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, etc – report having an app that helps the local information or news.
If online newspapers forced you to pay, would you read them? That is the question being considered by every news organization, big and small.
Typically, news sites and blogs rely on advertising money to stay up and running. Rupert Murdoch, CEO and Sith Lord of News Corp (which owns a variety of book, magazine and newspaper publishers including HarperCollins, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal) is one of the most vocal — not to mention powerful — forces driving the idea that online news websites should charge for the content provided.
The Wall Street Journal, owned by Murdoch’s News Corp, is perhaps the leader in news site that charges a subscription fee for access to all of its articles.
It’s no secret that the magazine and newspaper industry is in trouble, and pay walls are seen as one way to help stop the bleeding.
So, where do you stand?
Going online created more opportunities for newspapers, such as competing with broadcast journalism in presenting breaking news in a more timely manner. The credibility and strong brand recognition of well-established newspapers, and the close relationships they have with advertisers, are also seen by many in the newspaper industry as strengthening their chances of survival. The movement away from the printing process can also help decrease costs.
The true online only paper is a paper that does not have any hard copy connections. Unlike blog sites a newspaper website is run as a newspaper.