Saturday, November 17, 2007

Web Sites "Tear Down That Wall"

Rupert Murdoch's announcement this week that he expects to stop charging for access to the Wall Street Journal's Web site is the latest example of a publisher giving up on the subscription-based business model -- a significant shift in the evolution of online content.
In recent months, the Economist, the New York Times and the Financial Times have all moved content out from "behind the wall," an industry metaphor for the location of paid online content.
The lesson seems to be that online consumers will pay only for niche content of intense interest to them -- such as specialized industry news from trade publications, inside sports news, gambling tips, pornography and so on. As Slate editor Jacob Weisberg puts it: It's all "pornography of one kind or another." READ WASHINGTON POST

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