by J. Michael Wheeler
How many people really pay for digital news? 9/25/2013, REFLECTIONS OF A NEWSOSAUR, aka, Alan D. Mutter.
Compare Netflix subscription model with legacy news digital model? I don’t think so.
“But the simple answer may be that most consumers would rather pay for movies and music than for news...”
From the audience viewpoint, Netflix is very different than the legacy news industry.
Netflix gives the Audience control over the content that they consume. The audience decides what is valuable to them. Legacy news, on the other hand, filters the content. Legacy news controls the content and the audience has no choice.
Beginning in the 1800’s, and up until our digital age, production and distribution of the news product was limited by the physicality of actually putting ink on paper. And this filtering of the news had both practical and business underpinnings. How many papers could you sell and how much advertising could you cram into it. This same model is used by the radio and television networks.
Netflix has removed that filter. (And yes, not everything is available on Netflix, but it would be if they could arrange it.) My read is that the audience will pay for content they value, be it movies, or music, or news.