Take the issue of paywalls.
Everyone knows about Rupert Murdoch's threats, and the The New York Times' plans, but while those industry leaders prepare their well-publicized initiatives, what is the actual experience of the publications that are out ahead of the curve on this?
Newsday provides a cautionary example here. According to a report in the New York Observer this week, since moving its web content behind a paywall last October, Newsday has lost a third of its traffic and has been able to convince only 35 people to date to sign up for an online subscription.
That's 35 subscribers out of the former audience of 2.2 million! (According to Nielsen this number has dropped to 1.5 million since the paywall was adopted.)
Ouch! Does that sound like an effective business strategy?
Meanwhile, the focus on monetizing online content via computers continues to strike me as a diversion when the audience is moving to mobile platforms ever more rapidly.
- By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the device of choice to access the Web worldwide. The numbers at that time will be 1.82 billion mobiles vs. 1.78 billion PCs, but the gap will grow quickly from then on.