The Wall Street Journal has a copy of an internal memo sent by Steven Swartz, the president of Hearst newspapers. In the memo he says Hearst newspapers will begin to charge for online content.
“Exactly how much paid content to hold back from our free sites will be a judgment call made daily by our management, whose mission should be to run the best free Web sites in our markets without compromising our ability to get a fair price from consumers for the expensive, unique reporting and writing that we produce each day.”
Reworking its digital strategy is a part of Hearst’s “100 Days” plan to cast a critical eye on longstanding newspaper-industry business practices.
Not charging for online content is a business practice, but it’s far from longstanding. As a consumer of Hearst-generated news I like free, but as a content developer, I’d like to see Hearst develop a successful online subscription model.
On Friday, I asked TD (a Friend of AdPulp) over beers if he would, in fact, pay for AdPulp content (via subscription). He said he’d rather donate to our cause. If you’re with TD on that, here’s the donation mechanism:
We do value your support, paid or unpaid. But paid support at any level is fuel for the machine.