September 16, 2005

OUGHTTA PAY THE READERS:

Matt Drudge May Boot NY Times Columnists (NewsMax, 9/14/05)

Cyber-newsman Matt Drudge is threatening to boot the New York Times’ columnists from his popular Drudge Report Web site after the Times announced it will begin charging for access to their columns.

Color us dubious that they can successfully charge for content--the money to be made on-line seems more likely to come from ads.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 16, 2005 8:05 AM
Comments

The ego of the columnists themselves -- well, at least of Rich and Krugman -- will abort this experiment after only a short period of time, though I'm sure their most outrageous claims will still be worth retyping by folks running other websites, just to everyone can still see the lunatics control the asylum.

Posted by: John at September 16, 2005 9:11 AM

Orrin,

Until micropayments are enabled on the Internet (defined as: the ability to pay a few pennies or a nickel per instance for something you want to access or download, without the transacton cost dwarfing the transaction amount, as it would now with a credit card) ... until that exists, you are right. But whoever can find and enable this holy grail of micropayments will be a very rich man. A couple of very smart men have already tried and failed. It's all about timing; they were ahead of their time. It will come. But think: Would I pay a nickel a shot to read BrothersJuddBlog? You better believe it. A nickel to download a NYT article on a topic I am researching? Yes. $30 per year for the privilege of reading anything I want on the NYT website? (Ah! My hand does not reach for my wallet.)

Orrin, think of all those nickels with your name on them ... people will pay for content, but not $30, or $70 at a time ...

Posted by: George at September 16, 2005 9:11 AM

No one's ever going to pay for junk like this, but get enough folks looking at it free and advertisers will pay you to co-opt those eyeballs.

Posted by: oj at September 16, 2005 9:24 AM

George: Leaving Brothers Judd to one side, even nickels are too much. Micropayments won't work till you can pay in mills. Somewhere on my computer I have a business plan I drafted for a micropayments company a few years ago. We gave it up, in part because the technology is surpisingly difficult, but also because it's hard to make money on the transfer of very small amounts of money.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 16, 2005 9:49 AM

I think they have it reversed, as I suggested here. The New York Times should pay us for reading columns by Dowd, Rich and Krugman. Take a look at my suggested fees and see if they seem reasonable to you.

Posted by: Jim Miller at September 16, 2005 9:54 AM

Should have said that I was agreeing with OJ on the correct direction of the payments.

And being serious for a moment, I must note that the very people I dislike the most are the ones who often show up in the NYT's "most emailed" list. And I fear that most of those emailers are not telling their friends, "You can't believe how bad this is!"

Posted by: Jim Miller at September 16, 2005 9:59 AM

Let's see... limited discretionary income...rising cost of gasoline...pay for NYT access...

Is this what is termed a "no brainer"?

Oops, my bad...people who have to make decisions like this don't read the Times anyway.

Posted by: flanman at September 16, 2005 11:34 AM

Anybody remember this scenario, which InstaPundit linked to late last year? This is just another step down the path towards its fruition... ;)

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at September 16, 2005 12:40 PM

I would not pay for this service on its own. I really do not care what the demented fruitcakes like MoDo and Krugman have to say. For better or worse, I am a dead tree subscriber and therefor will receive this "service" at its marginal value.

All of that being said, Like Mr. Miller, I have also noted that the most execrable nonsense in the NYTimes is always at the top of the most e-mailed list. It is therefor possible that the NYT will make money exploiting the foolishness of the deranged moonbats who are the majority of its readers.

My father(z"l) was always fond of quoting H.L. Mencken as having said that no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 16, 2005 12:48 PM

No one's ever going to pay for junk like [my site].

They sure will, I guarantee it.

Perhaps not much, and providers may choose to leave their services free-of-overt-charge for various reasons, but George is absolutely correct.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 16, 2005 2:22 PM

Heck, I'm bankrolling it already.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at September 16, 2005 3:26 PM

It's a toss up as to whether NYT will pull this off. The WSJ did it, but it provides useful information. I expect NYT's minor league effort BoGlo will follow suit. It will be interesting if they will require subscriptons to see want ads and weather its ad revenue will suffer if they do.

If subscriptions do not succeed, MoDo had better watch her flanks.

Posted by: Ed Bush at September 16, 2005 4:01 PM

As a regular visitor to this site, and one who enjoys it very much, I would not pay a single penny for any of it, nor for any of the other news and entertainment sites I access every day.

Pay for content may work for some of the big media outlets that have made a name for themselves apart from their online ventures but for small sites like this one and the millions of others like it its unfeasable. Maybe 20 people would pay a nickel to see this site but those 20 would have never visted in the first place had they to pay penny. BrosJudd (and every other blog and small site) only exists because its free (and thanks for it OJ and Steve).

Posted by: Shelton at September 16, 2005 4:39 PM

Why would someone pay to read Krugman et al, when they can read the same thing, the day before no less, at the DU and Koss?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at September 16, 2005 7:15 PM

I pay $30/mo. to see the internet. I don't exactly regard it as free.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 16, 2005 8:53 PM

In the music industry, a bar owner pays BMI/ASCAP a nominal yearly license fee for the right to play any song on their playlist.

BMI/ASCAP then pays royalties to their artists in proportion to their estimated playtime.

http://www.musicbootcamp.com/performance_rights.shtml

Posted by: Gideon at September 16, 2005 10:56 PM

Shelton:

Unfortunately, I'm addicted to this site and have paid to use it -- 25 cents a minute at a Las Vegas hotel which had a pay-for-Internet hookup in the lobby.

I need a 12-step program.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 17, 2005 2:31 AM

Matt:

A Las Vegas hotel? See, you already have a twelve step program. We're step four of Gamblers Anonymous.

Posted by: Peter B at September 17, 2005 7:15 AM

Matt: From one addict to another, that's a tiny bit sad.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 17, 2005 6:52 PM
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