So what exactly is newspaper web ‘premium’ content? Please tell me

By Steve Outing

So, it appears that we’ve passed the point within the newspaper industry of utter panic and all the publishers will not be colluding (ahem… I mean cooperating) to put most of their websites’ content behind pay walls. At least that CEO/publisher-group insanity is over — I hope.


Instead, the meme within the industry is something I’ve long supported: Let’s keep most of our news content online free, so that we don’t lose advertisers and high reader numbers, and maintain our “googlejuice,” but let’s create more “premium” content and services that we can charge for … and people will find worthy of paying.

But what is this premium content that newspaper companies can produce for the web (and mobile devices) that will get online users spending?

This is a difficult question, with so much great information and news available elsewhere on the web for free. And then there’s the little matter of many newspaper staffs having been cut so much in the last couple years. Who’s going to produce this high-value content?

I’d like to use this blog item as a starting point for a discussion about what newspapers can create that they can sell. Please use the comments feature to share your ideas!

I’ll get things started with a comment of my own. It should be first in the list unless someone beats me to it…

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!