Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Would You Pay to Access

The New York Times is surveying subscribers to determine if they'd be willing to pay $5 a month to access content on its Website, which is currently free of charge. The newspaper is also testing a 50 percent discount scheme ($2.50/month) for those who retain their home-delivery print subscription.

Read reports from Bloomberg, Poynter, and Paid Content.

Our question: What if all online videojournalism and multimedia (and of course advertising) was offered free of charge, and you had to pay to access the rest of a newspaper's online content (text, images)?

What if newspapers invested sufficient resources to create topnotch video stories as an inducement to lure viewers through the front door, and then required them to pay to visit all the other rooms in the media castle? Videojournalism, after all, is their most customized (and least easily duplicated) editorial asset.

That would build a substantial audience for all those currently neglected and underappreciated video stories -- which, to our thinking, is the storytelling form that best maximizes the Web medium's strengths.

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