Dow Jones In Denial: Publishers Continue Losing Battle Against the Web
A Reuters report cites some fanciful thinking on the part of Gordon Crovitz, president of electronic publishing at Dow Jones. He exhorted other publishers at a Banc of America Securities media conference to charge subscription fees for online content: “I am very confident that other publishers will find ways to generate online subscription revenues,” he told the audience.
Confident? On what basis? Crovitz points out that the current online publishing model of giving content away for free is unsustainable, particularly when you want people to pay for a print version of that same content (i.e. newspaper publishers). No argument there.
But the kick-save, if one actually exists for most publishers, will not be in introducing a subscription wall. It’s too late for that – people want their news for free and they’re getting better at finding it with FREE search and personalization applications. The WSJ, in fact, is one of the only large circulation publications that can get away with a paid sub. And even the WSJ is under fire for its current strategy, which has caused some to question the Journal’s long-term editorial relevance.
What Gordon Crovitz is really getting at is the fact that the Internet causes genuine and possibly insurmountable troubles for many old-school publishers. There’s nothing new in this observation, but it’s worth repeating, particularly when you hear those same old-school publishers continuing their patterns of denial.
[Editor’s note: Reuters and Dow Jones are mortal enemies – it’s possible this Reuters hack is trying to make Covitz look like a dunce.]
Read: Dow Jones Executive Foresees More Paid Web Sites – [Reuters via Yahoo]