Want to Charge for Digital Content?
Other than in Europe, offers for individual articles cannot be found very often in the U.S. newspaper landscape; more lucrative subscription models seem to prevail, mostly within a freemium model that allows free access to selected articles (or the first X articles per month). The New York Times already ventured into prepaid offers, as it sells individual online articles from its archives for $3.95 and a 10-article package at a discounted price for those who know they need access to more than one article.
Start Taking Your First Steps …
No single answer exists as to how paid content offers should be priced. But the five steps described here can certainly lead you in the right direction. The first step (strategy) is to explore which offer prices (for articles, apps, online subscriptions, etc.) will generate the highest profits. You must invest time and effort in researching your readers' appetite for paid content in a realistic market situation (i.e., with "free" offers still out there). You must factor in this market backdrop when determining how many readers and how much advertising income you are willing to sacrifice due to paid content.
The second step (value orientation) involves determining which price-performance ratio your paid content offer provides up against the competition.
Then, in step three (customer-oriented offer), you must ascertain which customer segment you should approach. When designing your offer and creating a customer-specific price model, you must not only know the reading patterns of your customers, but also determine the possible cannibalization risks that could decrease your print revenues (step four, the price model). This must be checked before you set the price level of your publishing portfolio offers (step five, price level). None of these questions are easy to answer—all the more reason to get started immediately. PE