I have been thinking alot lately about online publishing and there are alot of different items I have seen recently in this area.
First, magazines and newspapers are getting the idea that they can’t give away their content online. Washington Post and New York Times let you read current stores and charges for archives. Fortune and Business 2.0 give you a taste of the article and then tell you that you need a subscription to the magazine to go any further. I can’t believe they didn’t do this sooner.
Continuing along this line, Keep Media is a new company that provides access to over 140 magazines. They charge $4.95 a month for the service. Louis Borders, founder of Borders Books and Keep Media, believes we are “right on the cusp” of a mass audience willing to pay for content [I originally saw this in Cool News, and here is the WSJ article they quoted (but you’ll need a subscription)].
I think what got me started on this line of thought was reading Andy Bourland’s blog. He has been chronicling the trials and tribulations of building Up2Speed. Bourland was one of the founders of ClickZ He sold it, and decided to get right back in buying Adventive and MarketingFix.
The postings on his blog are very open about the challenges he faces. His latest posting talks about this challenge of moving users from a free service to a fee-based service.
We’ll revisit this one again…