Newspapers’ digital content is worth zero: Discuss

By Steve Outing

My latest Editor & Publisher column was posted today. I think you’ll find it provocative.

Your News Content Is Worth Zero to Digital Consumers

Admittedly, the headline overstates things a bit (hey, just trying to get you to pay attention!), but my main point is that whether online or on mobile devices, news publishers need to figure out how to offer something that’s tangible, not ephemeral. Selling fleeting digital news stories is a non-starter. The mobile platform offers some alternative opportunities.

Since EditorandPublisher.com doesn’t support comments on my column posted there, please feel free to engage in a dialog with me and anyone else interested in this topic in the comments area below.

What do you think?

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

One Response to "Newspapers’ digital content is worth zero: Discuss"

  1. DB Hebbard
    DB Hebbard 7 years ago .Reply

    Great post (and column on the E&P site) — it’s nice to not have to say “you just don’t get it” — because it’s clear you get it.

    Your line, that I believe you are attributing to Joe Pezzillo, about paid apps was especially great:  Most people seem to prefer to spend money on things they get to “keep.”  This is absolutely true.  People who subscribe to newspapers get the “paper” not the content, though we all know that much of the cost is in content generation. They don’t mind paying a few bucks a month to get a physical newspaper but continue to resist paying for pixels.

    Sadly, the newspaper and magazine industries are slow to adapt to new outlets for their content such as mobile. I left the newspaper industry after failing to convince executives that WE should be the ones publishing the auto traders and real estate tabloids — instead they thought of those products as “not newspapers”.

    But how do we change the culture? I think the answer lies in enabling experimentation throughout the publishing enterprise — allowing subordinates to develop new products and experiment with new technologies. Today it is iPhone apps, who knows what it will be tomorrow — I know I don’t know — but usually someone on staff figures it out long before management.

    In any case, the post was great — thanks.

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