With Newspapers, It’s Not Entirely a Free-for-All

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Nearly all newspapers are suffering because of the abundance of free content online; in this regard, the newspaper biz has a remarkable resemblance to the porn industry. But two newspapers are demonstrating how to succeed without giving content away. And these two papers couldn’t be more different in terms of business models and what topics they cover.

People are clearly willing to pay for content provided by The Financial Times, as the NY Times reports. (Within this story, the fact is revealed that the NY Times is trying to get readers to pay for online access.)

OK, finance. Sure, that makes sense that people would pay for information that in theory helps them make more money. Same reason folks pay for the WSJ, where some, but not all content, is only available to paying subscribers.

The other paper that’s succeeded in sticking with the strict, pay-for-content model is one that may surprise you: an Amish newspaper based in Ohio called The Budget. As the Washington Post describes:

Subscriptions, which cost $42 a year and account for most of the newspaper’s revenue, have dropped by just a few hundred in the past year. Advertisers—who are mostly Amish—are not fleeing to the Internet. And plans are in the works to add a couple of reporters to The Budget’s editorial staff of about a dozen people.

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