Should we pay for news subscription?
Hands up, if you now depend on social media feeds as your primary source of news each day.
Should you pay for the news? After all, news publishers get tons of money from advertisers anyway. And what did news publishers use to convince advertisers? YOU. They sell demographics to advertisers who want to sell you their message.
Honestly, I read the headlines, the first few lines of the story to get me by when I need to make conversation with people on what’s happening. But chances are they probably did the same too. The thing when I click on some news, and a pop up creeps in to say you have “29 free articles left this month. Subscribe now”. I’m like nope. I know that probably is a di*kish move on my end, but I’m like if I cope well so far without subscribing, I think I’ll get by without it.
Where’s the value in subscribing?
Sometimes, when I clicked on news with a really good headline, only to find 10 lines written about it. Have I been click-baited? Darn. I think one of the factor would be the (in my opinion) quality or lack of it, that made me think twice about subscribing. If I’m going to subscribe to news, I don’t want it to just tell me that the train stopped for no reason during peak hours. I want my news to go beyond that. Especially when it breaks down so often nowadays (by Singapore’s standards). I think what I’m looking beyond quality is “value”. How has the content change or add value to my otherwise mundane life of “non-subscribed” news. What’s the differentiator?
Maybe we don’t pay when we can’t see?
It got me thinking, don’t we pay restaurants when they give us our food, don’t we pay for the clothes we buy? So how are books, music, news different then? Why shouldn’t we pay for subscription to news. News reporters (the good ones) go out there to cover stories and offer perspectives, keeping us informed. So shouldn’t we recognise their talents and honestly, hard work? I think that’s because of the intangibility nature of content. The issue is it’s so hard for us to equate or attribute value to intangible stuff. The lack of physical form, makes it easier for us to consume and forget. That’s probably why we don’t give enough credit to writers/reporters or to the stories they write.