Monday, June 6, 2011

But Bloomberg says paywalls are "still a bad idea"

The media giant attacks paywalls again, especially for smaller papers.

Columnist Mathew Ingram writes that although limited paywalls seem to work at papers like the New York Times, "Those positives can be more than outweighted by the negatives of a paywall, particularly for smaller newspapers -- the main one being that a wall creates an opportunity for free competitors, of which there are a growing numbers."

I wanted to give you the full quote because that's the crux of the matter -- free competitors. News happenings will always be vulnerable to free competitors since they can rewrite (as I do), link (as I do), aggragate (as I do) news. What they cannot offer free is whatever original content is being offered -- reviews, comments, editorials, blogs, etc. They can offer their own original content. For example has several excellent columnists/bloggers. But it doesn't offer an article by Duane Dudek or Bob McGinn or Bob Wolfley. Original content behind paywalls works.

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