Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 21: 5 Reasons e-Books Might Be the New Paid-content For News

For publishers, selling content on the Internet has been always more about religion than business. In a world where users are saturated with news stories, most of them submitted for free, selling articles looks like selling fruits in the Garden of Eden. The news business is not like the music business. You can buy a song, and you can put it on your iPod and listen to it again and again. News stories are ephemeral. They’re just stuff you need to know. And in the connected world, you don’t need to buy it to hear about it. When a story is released, information is curated all over the social network.
It’s trendy to say that “the important part of newspaper isn’t ‘paper,’ but ‘news.’” But when you start to think about it, you realize that before the rise of the Internet, what you paid for when you bought a newspaper was not the news, but the paper, or to be more precise, the news on the paper. I mean you pay for the packaging: curated and exclusive stories packaged in a well-organized, easy-to-read, offline browser, delivered to your home. That’s why some magazines still sell a lot of copies of their paper editions even if major stories have been released on the website earlier. In 2008, in France the news magazine L’Express published an interview with First Lady Carla Bruni. The interview was released first on the web, for free, and it was a huge success. But it was a huge success for the paid paper edition too; a record in the magazine’s history. Same story, different packaging.

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