Thinking Through News Website Paywalls
|Altru New York Times Typographic T-shirt|
Being accessible online through tablets and smartphones will be the key to reaching new, young audiences across the globe. Moving away from the old media model will make capturing these audiences possible. In developing its digital strategy going forward The Times should take inspiration from Content Marketing. The Times and other newspapers can develop and repurpose their own content in the digital space through videos, infographics, motion graphics, games and art. Readers are looking to be entertained while they are educated. Besides its popular crossword puzzles, it would be interesting if The Times introduced games that both improve brain performance and showed the mental benefits of reading The Times in a measurable way. In the section addressing “Digital Disruption” the HBR case study quotes Nicholas Carr, a technology writer: “The nature of a newspaper, both as a medium for information and as a business, changes when it loses its physical form and shifts to the Internet . . . When the newspaper moves online, the bundle falls apart”. If the bundle falling apart is inevitable it is critical to find a way to ensure the sum of the newspaper’s digital parts equal more than the physical whole. Content innovation is the best way to make this happen. The unforgettable stories will still be part of the content, but it will be delivered in a format that is more attractive to today’s reader.
It was tough deciding whether paywalls are a good idea or not. I challenge online readers to think this one through and comment below.