Brill's plan to charge users $5 to $10 a month to read the news online
"Journalism Online said its technology would give publishers flexibility in how they charge for digital content, including collecting monthly subscriptions or micro-payments for individual articles. Its estimates that a website that attracts 1 million monthly visitors could reap additional annual revenue of $5 million to $10 million.
The LA Times story fails to say how that money is to be made. But simple math says that each reader would pay an average of $5 to $10 for their news online.
I just don't see the product being that valuable.
Journalism Online is a startup created by Steve Brill, creator of CourtTV, and Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal. They claim agreements with 506 newspapers, magazines and online news sites that reach more than 90 million monthly visitors - but they don't say who the clients are.
They likely are not the Tribune Co. (LA and Chicago), Gannett (USA Today), NY Times or the Wall Street Journal. Those who do not charge for the news will be the big winners if this idea actually takes shape.
Newspapers tried this model with classified advertising. Ah but Craigslist provided a better, national service for free. And it only takes one giving it away for free to ruin a business model in the online world.