Friday, May 09, 2008

Good content will always sell

Patrick Reusse wrote a column yesterday asking the question, "Who'll gather news when Internet is all that there is?" I've been thinking about this very same thing for some time now and have come up with an unproven hypothesis.

People don't buy the medium that content is delivered in, they buy the content. My unproven hypothesis is, if you produce good content, you'll make money whether you print the content on paper, distribute it on an Internet site, or record it for listening.

We're in a transition now where content producers are trying to find out how to best sell their content. Newspapers are struggling with this, as Internet revenues are not as strong as former print revenues, which included healthy margins from classifieds. While we may see some newspapers go under, good content will always survive.

Why you may ask? Because there will always be people, like me, starving for great content. And we're willing to pay for it in some manor. Right now, it seems as most places are willing to base their business model on advertising. If this doesn't hold up, you'll start to see content producers selling subscriptions. ESPN has done this for a while with their Insider offering. Insider is an online, subscription based, news source for premium sports content.

I think what we'll see in the future is, general news will stay free (i.e. advertisement based). But premium content (e.g. sports columnist) will be based on a subscription model. And being that subscription model will most likely be online, margins will be much better than traditional print.

No comments: