Monday, March 22, 2004

For-Fee Online Content

I'd like to link to an article about the return of for-fee online subscription models, but the Wall Street Journal charges $80/year for their online subscription...perhaps illustrating some bias and truth in the article.
"Adds Craig Sherman, chief marketing and revenue officer at Inc., which operates popular genealogy Web sites: 'To be able to charge, you need a service that's radically easier, faster and more fun than if it were free.'"
Perhaps I'm inferring too much, but this quote is basically saying that people may be willing pay for good design. I suspect that many dot-coms crashed and burned while trying to justifying their existence with similar hopes. If the free alternative is good enough, not many people are going to be willing to pay for the easier, faster, more expensive version. It still seems like content exclusivity is still the main criteria for what people might be willing to pay for. Several of the examples given might fall in the social-software realm -- can and dating sites like be lumped in with pure "content providers" like news sites?

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