26 mayo 2009

Cobrar en la red: ¿suicidio o salvación?

¿Cómo rentabilizar la información online? ¿La ofrecemos gratis y financiamos con publicidad? ¿O cerramos y cobramos suscripción? ¿Exigimos un registro previo? ¿Cobramos sólo por determinados servicios? ¿Cuáles? Este artículo de Michael Liedke en Editor & Publisher no les aclarará ninguna de estas cuestiones pero sí les ofrece algunos ejemplos reales que están funcionando:
"But the abundance of news on the Internet hasn't helped print editions containing virtually the same content that's often available online a day earlier. As a result, 28 percent of newspaper executives responding to a recent survey by the Associated Press Managing Editors, a group of newspaper executives, said their publications are considering online fees."
"A recent study that the Newspaper Association of America conducted with media consultants supported the idea that online newspaper fees threaten to do more harm than good. The reason: The subscriptions probably won't generate enough additional revenue to justify driving away the majority of Internet readers who won't be willing to ante up.

The study concluded newspapers with circulations of about 50,000 probably wouldn't pick up much more than $1 million in annual revenue from online subscriptions. That estimate is based on the assumption that a newspaper attracting about 250,000 monthly visitors to a free Web site would be able to get just 2 percent of them _ 5,000 people _ to pay $17 per month."
Y el conocido caso del WSJ.com:
The News Corp. publication won't specify how much money it gets from online fees, but says its Web site has 1.08 million subscribers (most of whom also pay to receive the print edition as part of a package). That translates into annual revenue of more than $100 million from online fees, based on the Journal's starting annual rates of $103 for online only and $140 for the print edition with Web access.

The Journal's total circulation is nearly 2.1 million, second in the nation, up from 1.8 million a decade ago. The most recent figure included about 383,000 online-only subscribers _ a number that the Audit Bureau of Circulations didn't break out 10 years ago.

The Journal has some advantages. It focuses on financial news _ a niche that traditionally attracts an audience willing to pay for insightful information. That's particularly true if the fees can be claimed as a business expense, though the Journal believes most of its online subscribers don't rely on that, based on reader surveys. Perhaps just as importantly, the Journal never devalued its content by giving it away on the Internet _ just like the Post Register in Idaho.

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