Things that Kind of Read like a Press Release from Print People

This AP piece on Newspapers and pay walls definitely caught my eye in the ol’ Google Alerts this morning. I was contemplating giving it an FJM, but I kind of stopped when this graph just hurt:

As the Internet gained in popularity in the 1990s, newspapers decided to give away news on their websites while continuing to charge readers for print editions. By keeping online editions free, publishers hoped to gain enough readers to attract Web advertising. But as readers flocked to free news on websites, many of them canceled their print subscriptions. And online advertising hasn’t generated enough revenue to make up for the combined declines in print subscriptions and print advertising.

Why? Because it blames users, and not the business practice. That sentence about “giving away news” just stings with a little bit of condescension, and print subscriptions have *never* been profitable, loss leaders to get you in and raise circulation.

Content breeds an audience, executing that audience around unique content can be profitable! At least it is more important than meters and charging for access.

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