Friday, January 10, 2014

The way you consume online content is about to get expensive, especially locally

$10 per month to view delcotimes.com
This week the Daily Times website (delcotimes.com) quietly began a pay-per-view subscription rate that will now be required to view their content.   While on their site today, a pop-up displayed stating that I had four more free articles I could view before I needed to pay for a subscription.   The message stated that the first month would be $0.99 and would automatically renew each month at the going rate of $10.  For a guy who hasn’t bought a hardcopy of this paper in years, I’d have to say the new $10 monthly fee doesn’t provide much value for me.  I like the Daily Times and think Phil Heron does a great job, but I’ll most likely move over to philly.com who I’ve noticed has begun to cover similar stories.  Philly.com is still free and I like the layout, so it’ll satisfy the national, regional and some county news.  I have paid for the monthly news subscriptions and and still do for the Wall Street Journal, but there is plenty of news sources out there if you look for them.  BusinessInsider.com is a site I visit often.

What will this mean for the local news reporting that the Daily Times was known for?  I suppose that’s a wait and see, but moving into a pay model is a big gamble.  Either way, this could be an interesting opportunity for Media Patch, but Patch/AOL are also challenged with revenue sustainability, as no one can seem to make money on the hyperlocal news reporting model based on advertising.  Case in point: 
A former Patch sales rep who asked to remain anonymous described the futility of trying to sell ads to local businesses that aren’t the savviest marketers in the world. “It was a total waste,” he said of his nine months at Patch. “Most of these local businesses don’t have budgets for advertising at all.” Advertising on Patch, he said, was often unnecessary for local businesses anyway because so many had built their customer bases through word-of-mouth advertising, not banner ads. 
When they were actually able to make a sale, the rep explained that he and his co-workers often felt guilty. The businesses had tiny budgets, he said, sometimes only a few hundred dollars, and put their faith in Patch for a good return. “Eventually, you do have to call them back and explain the reports to them,” the rep said. “The click-through rates on our banner ads were terrible .You might spend a few hundred dollars on a banner ad and only get five clicks on it.” Renewal rates, he said, were miniscule as a result.http://digiday.com/publishers/the-false-hope-of-hyperlocal/

As for ATMpa, there will be some good changes happening here too, but it'll still represent the community and remain FREE of charge.

4 comments:

  1. Michael Jordan, MediaJanuary 10, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I've been getting home delivery of the Daily Times newspaper for years. But I still like to read obits and articles on the web the night before. I hope Phil Heron will waive this extra fee for those of us who get home delivery.

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    1. I think you can call Delco Times and get a log in for free if you're a paying member for home delivery.

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  2. Not in a million years would I pay anything to view content on the Daily Times website. Good luck with that...

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  3. Tedman, who are you kidding trying to be gracious to that hack job they call a newspaper! Lest we forget how they tried to derail the November election just days before with their promotion (biased promotion no less) of the Media Dems and dem RTM school board candidates with the glorious full page cover shot of their propaganda.
    If philly.com was smart they'd seize this opportunity to strategically place reporters at either end of DelCo, and all of us would follow suit in using that as primary news outlet. The public needs to start shunning the DT because of their overt, slanted, biased coverage politically.
    I wouldn't line a birdcage with that trash.

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