Last night the first meeting of the Dutch Media Professionals (DMP) was held in the “Rode Hoed” In Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The DMP is a successful linkedin community that grew to 4.000 members in only a couple of weeks time. The event was around “the New News”. What happens if the user gets all the content for free?
Almar Latour manager editor Wall Street Journal online elaborated on their choice for their business model. Initially some wanted to give the content for free, some wanted to be paid for. At the moment WSJ has 1 mln online subscribers each paying approx. $100 to $150 per year. Almar explained that the choice for their business model was found by means of experimenting and understanding the behavior of their subscribers. Free users enter sideways, have general interests (politics, lifestyle) and are NOT familiar with the Journal. Subscribers who pay for content WANT to pay for content as they have special interest. As a result of this WSJ started to develop both a free website and a paid subscription website specially designed for the audience. Free subscribers site is different, it has tools, widgets and newsreel.
Another discussion was around business models of free and paid for newspapers. Bart Brouwers (chief editor free newspaper Sp!ts) and Barbara van Beukering (chief editor Parool). Basically the newspaper is either paid by the reader/ subscriber or the advertiser. But advertising is decreasing. A huge problem. What are the newspapers doing to resolve this? Het Parool started to expand their business model into a new area:selling wines, dvd’s and books to their audience. By this means they are less dependent on advertising. The free newspaper Sp!ts had a very interesting new revenue stream. Besides advertorials and advertising they use guaranteed content. By this mean the advertiser will get – besides their add – a positive news item content-managed by the Sp!its. In the debate it was questioned whether this is right in terms of free press and the role of the journalists. A poll in the audience showed that only 20% was worried about this development. Bart explained that they are exploring new business models every day and this is not the last model they will come up with…
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