How Facebook and Google could disrupt the subscription model for news
Frederic Filloux
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Frederic: Great idea in concept, though the methodology you suggest gives me hives. Newspapers have employed dynamic pricing for the print editions for years; there are as many as 20 different prices in any given metro area, based on demo/psychographic targeting. And, indeed, the same companies that help newspapers do that consider how digital dynamic pricing can work. I think they may work, and that increasingly bundled pricing — as we see in the beginning steps of the New York Times news/crossword bundling (crosswords are half-priced for news subscribers) — is the route forward for the reader revenue model. The idea, though, of partnering with Google and Facebook on this, would be a misstep. Why let those two companies take a piece of the one, growing, sustainable revenue stream that high-quality news publishers have found? Publishers can do their own targeting — it is their own first-party data, plus selective third-party data that would enable the data to such dynamic pricing — and keep the whole dollar, and euro and pound they badly need.

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