With WaPo’s announcement today that they’re launching a paywall, it’s starting to aggravate me that media companies are taking print media economics and more or less replicating them online. Porting print subscribers and advertising dollars to digital subscribers and advertising eyeballs.
This is right so far as it goes. But my guess is the kind of folks with a million tweeps and a tendency to promote Washington Post content aren’t going to have much trouble paying the $9.99, and are also the kind of people who will more or less be happy to do it.
Maybe people should just pay for stuff. And if they don’t want to pay $9.99 a month for our stuff, maybe that means we need to think about the content we’re producing more than about the precise way we’re implementing the paywall. Once this paywall launches it will stop being abstract and begin being about reading that 21st article. if at that point, it doesn’t feel worth it to people, we’re not doing our job.