You Get What You Pay For
Seeking other sources of revenue to supplement sagging ad sales, publishers are mulling over a long-held notion: charging readers for the online content they're consuming. But with that decision comes a lot of questions that need to be answered: How do you balance the content between what's free and what's not? How do you evaluate what content will sell? At what price point should your content be offered?
To help answer these questions and more, Publishing Executive Inbox recently interviewed Michael Lonier, CIO and vice president of operations for The Deal, a multimedia publishing company covering the merger-and-acquisition market. The Deal is a model for publishers looking to make money off their online content to follow, as its online content resource The Deal Pipeline will generate two-thirds of all company revenues this year via enterprise licenses.
INBOX: What steps must publishers take within their own organizations to make a paid-content subscription model work?
MICHAEL LONIER: This is a complex subject with the potential for transforming or changing business models and processes, sales, marketing, content itself, and technology platforms, so there's no one answer.
The first steps are strategic—where/from whom does the revenue come from; where/what is the value of the content, particularly unlocked value; how feasible is it to unlock that value and augment or create new content and revenue; and what changes are necessary internally to do so. How does your company culture relate to this potential new strategy? Is it willing or unwilling to build and market new products, take chances, do what's necessary to survive and flourish?
What resources does your company have to accomplish this strategy? How can it get the resources it needs that it doesn't have? How will these factors affect time-to-market and market risk? In other words, a full-blown SWOT analysis aimed at transforming the business is necessary.