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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Poll: Most won't pay to read newspapers online
David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 3:33 PM on 01.13.10
->> "Among more than 2,000 online adults surveyed, 77 percent said they wouldn't pay anything to read a newspaper's stories on the Web. And among those willing to pay, 19 percent would cough up between $1 and $10 a month; only 5 percent would shell out more than $10 each month."
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 3:33 PM on 01.13.10
->> http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10433893-93.html
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 3:57 PM on 01.13.10
->> I would have figured a number in the high 80's or low 90's.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 3:57 PM on 01.13.10
->> It is too late. The public has already been trained that the online newspaper or new source is free. No going back now unless it is a new form of delivery both physically and format.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 4:03 PM on 01.13.10
->> I really hope newspapers aren't betting the farm on tablet-based pay news delivery. That's not going to work, either.
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John Stone, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 4:16 PM on 01.13.10
->> I wonder what is the rate is on the Kindles newspaper subscriptions?
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D. Ross Cameron, Photographer
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 4:45 PM on 01.13.10
->> Those people polled are only saying that now because they think that the kind of free news coverage they've come to take for granted on the Web will continue as more and more newspapers either do a hatchet job on their editorial staffs, go out of business, or both.

Three reporters, a photographer and an editor *can* cover six separate cities -- I'm watching it being done right now. The catch is that it's being done poorly.

Increasingly, that's the kind of coverage that free will get you.

Don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing,
DRC
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 5:48 PM on 01.13.10
->> Why would you pay when you can get it free? Makes sense to me…

Newspapers and magazine were STUPID…giving away content for free.
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Nick Morris, Photographer
San Marcos | CA | United States | Posted: 6:10 PM on 01.13.10
->> They'll have better luck taxing you for rain or wind!
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 6:17 PM on 01.13.10
->> Those people polled are only saying that now because they think that the kind of free news coverage they've come to take for granted on the Web will continue...

Nothing in the current market trend indicates people will miss newspaper journalism in the near future. Audiophiles said no one would EVER enjoy - much less buy - music recorded in MP3 format because technically the quality is far lower than what you can get out of a real CD. Now CDs are barely surviving. The public, in many cases, will take "good enough" for convenience.

It would be awesome if people would buy stories like they buy music. But people like to listen to music over and over again, and they like to share songs with friends. News is disposable. Once someone reads a story, they're done with it.

Sure it's not an apples-to-apples comparison between music and journalism, but is it REALLY that much of a stretch? How many people REALLY read all 2,000 words of a long form story? If they did, there would be no reason to do inverted pyramid. Mobile media distribution is the hottest information portal out there, and mobile content is mostly trimmed down, bite sized content. People are flocking to it in droves, and it's not because the content is lengthy or in any way complete. It's convenient, and people like convenience.

Understand that I'm not HAPPY about any of this. I think it's awful. But I'm also realistic about it, and I know that you can't unring a bell...particularly when you're talking about millions of iPhone-toting connectivity addicts.
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Andrew Craft, Photographer
Fayetteville | NC | USA | Posted: 7:27 PM on 01.13.10
->> If you can get people to buy bottled water, there has to be a way to get them to pay for online news.
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Hudson | NH | USA | Posted: 7:59 PM on 01.13.10
->> And if Steve Jobs made buying music cool again. Then there is hope.
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Adam Vogler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Kansas City | Mo. | USA | Posted: 8:40 PM on 01.13.10
->> and on today's edition of "We're All Screwed" its ............
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 9:55 PM on 01.13.10
->> You want them to start buying newspapers again? Don't have the same stories that are in the printed edition available online.
Have the Free online site have perhaps, the first paragraph of the story and if they want to read the entire story they have to subscribe online and make the online edition free to subscribers of the printed edition.
I no longer receive any printed editions as it is all available online for free. Besides all the printed editions were all running the same AP stories and photos, only the name of the papers actually were different.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 11:48 PM on 01.13.10
->> Here in Butler, Pa we're pretty much following the model Louis suggests - our online edition grants access to the hed and first graf or so of out print edition. Access to the rest of the story and photos is done by subscription - at different rates for print vs. web-only.
The best part is listening to moms complain about the watermark in the online photos...
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 12:51 AM on 01.14.10
->> If you can get people to buy bottled water, there has to be a way to get them to pay for online news.

People aren't buying bottled water. They're buying the convenience of portable flavor-neutral thirst quenching. :-)

Seriously though...it's important to understand that people aren't buying the water...any more than people who pay for a cell phone with a data plan are "buying" data. They're buying the convenience of communicating on the go. The advantage cell phone providers have is cell phone networks are complicated and expensive to maintain - which limits competition. It also means everyone charges SOMETHING for access - and they always have.

As someone earlier pointed out - that's where newspapers made their fatal mistake. They allowed their content to be given away in a form as good or better than the print version, absolutely free. And beyond free - more convenient and timely than the print version.

The music analogy doesn't hold. Songs have longevity. Even eBooks have longevity. News is transient. Nobody is going to pay $0.99 a day/week/month to know the score from last night's high school football game and read about Afghanistan. They can watch television - for free - or check a thousand different web sites to get the same information. You can't copyright a sports score, a weather forecast, or even revelations disclosed in an investigative report. Sure you can copyright the actual text, but once one person knows that the Mayor is sleeping with his secretary, EVERYONE knows it...which means you can't make money off of that information.

As long as one media outlet is willing to distribute news without charging for it, nobody can make money off of it. And even if you could wave a wand and make every single news outlet charge for news content, the viral nature of the Internet makes such efforts futile. Once one person knows, everyone knows.

It is a difficult problem.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Indiana | IN | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 01.14.10
->> At our newspaper, we limit what goes online. No point in giving away the farm. As we all have seen, that didn't work too well. The newspaper is a big deal here, because it is a small town, CNN doesn't cover us here and we are the source for local news that matters to the people that live here.
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Eugenio Cebollero, Photographer
Kernersville | NC | US | Posted: 10:43 AM on 01.14.10
->> "->> If you can get people to buy bottled water, there has to be a way to get them to pay for online news."

Andrew, I respectfully disagree. Prior to bottled water the options were to basically drink out of a disgusting water fountain, dispense water from a soda fountain (always has some red drink mixed in), bring your own in a reusable bottle (that usually had soap residue or got disgusting), drink of a faucet/tap (never know what it's going to taste like), etc. I'll pay $.69 for a small bottle of clean quality convenient water over the options presented above.

As for news, convenience and quality are similar attributes, however the issue of quality never seems to be a concern for most for varied reasons so long as the delivery is fast and convenient. Most people "want to be in the know" very quickly (i.e. tidbits on Twitter). The online and TV media outlets tend to rehash news 10,000 times over and over supplying plenty of details and angles of an incident well after the event. Would I pay for online content? It depends on the source, the type of media, and the price. I prefer to be educated rather than entertained and I would like to know that the quality of the news I receive is of a high standard. (i.e. factual, integrity, unbiased, etc.) I fear most of the general public will suffice to "just be in the know" with headlines and not really express an interest in purchasing a full subscription to get the entire story.

I offer my sympathy to anyone that is involved in print or news reporting media outlets and has either suffered job loss or is faced with a potential lay-off. I certainly hope the industry is retooled in some way that reporting news is once again profitable and sustainable for everyone involved.
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Clay Carson, Photographer
Little Rock | Ar | USA | Posted: 12:28 PM on 01.14.10
->> I don't think it is too late. Publishers just need to wake up and stop giving away their product. If all or most of them do this, people will be forced to pay for their news. And I do think people want quality reporting. Newspapers offer a unique perspective on their community that the wires or TV cannot match.

Also, news is not transient. Archives are very valuable and people are willing to pay to access them.

I think the big problem is that people on the internet want to read stories from a lot of different newspapers. Having an online subscription to each of them is not practical. Publishers need to band together and build a micropayment system and share the revenue. One subscription to hundreds of newspapers.

My humble opinion...

Clay
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 1:02 PM on 01.14.10
->> A couple things I have written on about newspapers online and tablets. First of all, if news outlets refuse to allow the Yahoos, cable provider homepages, etc to carry their content, and charge internet providers an amount per subscriber like cable channels do with cable providers, then the news gets limited to what people can read for free. That is a start.

Jumping to tablets. I always thought that if they teamed up with the tablet makers, say Apple and NYT, Gannett, etc, then they could do like cell phones, provide them for low cast to almost free, in exchange for subscriptions for a two year contract or something. It helps propel more people to get tablets cost wise, and ensures an audience for contracted pubs and even allows the option to download outside the subscription content too. Maybe even helping lower the print production and adhere to a greener industry.


Again, not the solutions, but bricks in the wall that help support it.
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Keith Lucas, Photographer
Verona | VA | USA | Posted: 8:47 AM on 01.15.10
->> Living in the Shenandoah Valley, we dont really have a HUGE newpaper local . I subscribe to one of the local Gannett papers and until this past Sept or so, read several other online....UNTIL one went to a subscription service. While I miss the news, I completely understand the "whys and hows" this came to be...They give you the first few sentences, and then you must be a subscriber to read the remainder. I like the model. I think it has real merit and could understand other papers folowing suit. One thing about this I like is that if you are a print subscriber, then you automatically get the electronic version...which is nice when you travel and want to stay updated on the local news...

http://www.dnronline.com/
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Mchael Cullen, Photographer
wexford | np | Eire | Posted: 9:01 AM on 01.15.10
->> Its nice to get your news for FREE. The Irish times is now free, you had to pay for it about 2 years ago....

GOOD its all FREE now :):)

I only read a newspaper in a hotel, or cafe now-a-days :(
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Thread Title: Poll: Most won't pay to read newspapers online
Thread Started By: David Harpe
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