Wednesday, April 20, 2005

News Online is News Developing a Business Model?

I used to watch the news on TV when I was little.

I used to read two newspapers a day when I was in high school, and even into college.

I tried to make time for at least one newspaper a day after college, and mostly succeeeded.

I get a lot more of my news on the web these days, and I read papers from around the world. I'm better informed, and I read local papers that aren't local to me, instead of papers that are written for national or international consumption.

The Associated Press announced a couple of days ago that they are going to start charging news sources for their online content starting January 1st of next year.

Most of the 15,000 news outlets that buy AP's news, sports, business and entertainment coverage have been allowed to "re-purpose" the same material online at no extra cost since 1995. At that time, graphical Web browsers were just beginning to transform the Internet from an esoteric computer network to a mass medium.

It's difficult to tell what impact that may have on the cost of news online. Will news sites change the way they operate based upon this development? One thing I do know is that I don't see a lot of advertising directed at me when I visit Cincinnati papers to follow Reds stories.

As a long time fan, and East Coast dweller, I feel the chance to read those is wonderful. If they tried to sell me Reds hats or jerseys, I'd probably buy some. Yet I suspect that type of targeted advertising probably won't be the solution they attempt to adopt.

Will more and more newspapers shift to subscription based models? I hope not. If that's the answer they come up with, they may be missing out on some great opportunities.

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