Saturday, February 28, 2009

NYC newspaper to charge for Web content

According to Agence France Presse, "New York newspaper Newsday plans to start charging users of its Web site, a top executive of the company that owns the daily said Thursday."

This is an approach that has proven successful for the Wall Street Journal but was tried for some services by the New York Times a couple of years ago and later discontinued.

One of the top 15 newspapers in the country, Newsday has a strong base on Long Island and also serves the greater New York metropolitan area, competing with the Times and the Post.

Publishers from throughout the country will be monitoring Newsday's -new approach carefully because its success or failure will be an important indication of options for the struggling print medium. The bankruptcies within recent days of the two Philadelphia newspaper and Denver's Rocky Mountain News are signs of the considerable financial pressures that virtually all newspapers face today, Lancaster included.

As recently commented upon at NewsLanc, the success in charging for Web site content by the Wall Street Journal is attributed to the exceptionally high value readers place on its economic and financial coverage. Whether Newsday's local coverage of Long Island will be in sufficient demand to generate revenues is problematic but a fascinating experiment.