I wonder if their strategists have any concept of the Long Tail and how we are embracing it. Moreover, I wonder if any of them are actually listening to customers. (this is already becoming a bit of a rant… sorry…).
What is even more annoying here is the audacity that they think they can wean us off "free" online content. They need to grasp that first, for us the consumer, it isn’t free – we all know we’re paying directly and indirectly – we’re in fact subsidizing and paying for the distribution (computer, broadband…). And they are making money off free – they just aren’t optimizing their business models for it.
The one hope I think publishers have of making us pay for online content is to make it valuable. Make it something we want to pay for.
And publishers better get with the Blogosphere, Wiki and PodCast – all of this is about the commoditization of news and raw information – and the addition of all kinds of new value as we, the people, start commentating and providing perspective. That’s no longer the exclusive purview of the journalist.
The appointment driven news models of the major publishers is dying fast. And I don’t believe that we will be willing to pay for just the utility of on demand (that’s where the Long Tail will smack you in the head if you attempt it). It’s going to take a complete rethink for publishers to monetize the current wave of information revolution – and survive. Stepping back in time and overlaying yet another subscription model will only accelerate extinction.