23 September 2008

‘Don’t Be Afraid Of Pricing Content’

News consumers are prepared to pay for top quality content, according to the managing editor of FT.com.

And this means news providers shouldn’t be nervous about putting a price on their digital products, said Rob Grimshaw at a recent industry summit.

Press Gazette reports that Grimshaw also rejected assertions that online media have to be either all free or all paid-for and pointed to FT.com as evidence of a successful part free/part paid business model.

He told delegates at the recent SIIA Global Information Industry Summit that news organisations should have the confidence to charge for premium content.

“There is a push to say everything should be free and many major publishers have caved in in the face of that, but you only have to do one Google search to see where that [content] ends up.”

Grimshaw added: “If everything I see is free, a lot of it is going to be rubbish.

“Regardless of what is said in public, if you speak to the consumers they are prepared to pay for it and often a lot for it.”

And he concluded by saying paid-for subscription models should not preclude websites from generating “eyeballs revenue” either.

“We need to find a way to do the two things together: make money from our content - it’s some of the best content you will find anywhere, you shouldn’t be afraid of putting a price on it - and we want to make money from advertising.

“We don’t see why you can’t do both.”

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