In a time when more people are creating more content and news travel fast I’m a bit perplexed by the rise of magazine pay walls. It’s not that I don’t understand publishers need to increase revenue, it’s just that I don’t see what news outlet would make me get out my Visa.
My normal reaction to a paywall is “too bad, that would have been a nice article to read”, and that is also the extent of of it.
On the other hand I probably would pay to read a blog of someone I admire/find thought provoking/funny. After all, I pay for books (even those where the content originates from a blog).
So maybe that’s a valid reason for paywalls – limiting access to columns, in-depth articles etc. The question then is, who will tell me what is worth paying for?! How many free months of access will it take for me to grow a habit? Who will play the role of the bookstore clerk/librarian and suggest material worthy of both my time and money?
I would think the real money lies in being the “critic” of content. Building a trust from knowing what’s worth ppl’s time first, and then possibly being the go-to source for good paid-for content. But that of course implies you’re not an old-school critic, working for a newspaper, because that would mean you get stuck behind the pay wall! 🙂
What content critic are you already listening to, and what sites would you pay up to use?
Maybe we also need to widen the concept of “pay”? Ads and actual money are the two everyone seems to rely on, but shouldn’t it really be a third and fourth option to explore…
Update April 21st