In recent weeks we at PalloPostia have had some particularly interesting discussions about business models for online media.
It is clear that with the widespread use of mobile data people are consuming digital online news services at an ever increasing pace. Printed media responds by moving content online, but continues to face significant challenges because of different customer expectations and structural changes in advertising spend.
So what is an online publisher to do?
1. Most have tried to provide their news for free while relying on online advertising and social media tools to drive revenue. In practice only a few global news sites can achieve the huge scale that is needed to make this model work.
2. Other news providers will have to charge consumers for access, even though online news consumers are not easily convinced that they should pay. Especially if the reader has gotten used to receiving the same content for free! The Times and the Financial Times have found this out the hard way. The numbers of unique visitors to the timesonline.co.uk reduced with 80%!
Even though a hard transition to make, in the end most newspapers are likely to implement a pricing model. The golden rule will be to not force users into paying but in providing real additional value in return for a small sum of money.
If this is not difficult enough, we expect even more from a publisher of news for children.
The news has to be appropriate for their age, should be free of advertising, free of social media pressure, easily accessible and free of cost to ensure equal access for all.
No wonder that quality content for children is so hard to find!
But what is the consequence of not providing such a service? What does this mean for our children, the future consumers of online media: Will they ever learn to appreciate quality writing or consume local news (and eventually pay for it), or will they be satisfied with bland short headlines and celebrity gossip? How will they learn to appreciate and evaluate different opinions? How will they learn to look for different sources of information and develop a balanced view of the world we live in?
At PalloPostia we believe that there are alternatives.
What do you think?
Author: Gert-Jan Berden, Pallopostia