Newsday to Begin Charging for Online Content

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News Posted: Fri, Feb 27 2009 12:39 AM
On the same day that the Rocky Mountain News, Colorado's oldest newspaper, announced that it would fold after Friday's edition, Newsday announced that plans to begin charging for access to its online content.

The newspaper industry is facing major problems, with the aforementioned Rocky Mountain News, and even the storied San Francisco Chronicle, which this week announced it was near bankruptcy. As such, an attempt to monetize online content shouldn't a big surprise.

It is, however, a major change in an industry which offers most online news content for free.


 

Tom Rutledge, the chief operating officer of Cablevision, made the announcement during a conference call with analysts.
"When we purchased Newsday we were aware of the long-term issues facing the traditional newspaper industry. Our goal was, and is, to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed. "We plan to end distribution of free Web content and to make our news gathering capabilities service our customers."
Cablevision purchased based Newsday from the Tribune Co. for $650 million last year. Cablevision had to write down Newsday's value by $402 million on Thursday, which pushed its fourth-quarter results to a loss.

In a statement, Newsday publisher Timothy Knight said:
"We are in the process of transforming Newsday's Web site into an enhanced, locally focused cable service that we believe will become an important benefit for Newsday and Cablevision customers. More particulars will be forthcoming over the next few months."
Based on that, we have a few months of free Newsday content left. But as newspapers continue to sink into seeming irrelevancy, is this the wave of the future? Perhaps, if they and other news media are to survive in an age of seemingly unlimited free news content on the Internet, it is.
 
 
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3vi1 replied on Fri, Feb 27 2009 10:44 AM

If I were an advertiser, I'd give my business to the free competition, if they have any, as it's likely to be seen by more people. As a customer, I don't think I'd pay for a website when I can turn on the TV and hear the same news for free.

It seems like some companies are trying to take the web back to the early CompuServe/AOL days where you had to pay extra for ever feature. We see how that worked out when faced with free/flat-rate access.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Dave_HH replied on Fri, Feb 27 2009 1:18 PM

True... I'll tell you what though. Nothing in this world is "free". You watch that TV sitcom and get interrupted by 500 commercials and then ask if it's free. Advertising has to pay for the web's legitmate sites or the companies that run them will die.

Oh and if you block ads, then you're just biting the hand that feeds you, sort of like if all you do is download songs for free and never buy a single disc. The musicians would die out too under that model, since the record lables would have to find a biz that paid.... But that's a whole different can of worms all together. :)

In short, support the web sites you like; don't block banners, click on ads you like and put up with the ones you don't, so the internet can thrive.

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http://hothardware.com


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3vi1 replied on Fri, Feb 27 2009 6:11 PM

/agree.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Ads dont bother me. Well most of them. The ones that talk or pop up over top of the content do. I usually just stop going to those sites though. I would much rather have ads then pay for online content. As far as Newsday goes. I don't go there. I actually just heard about them here. I could see people losing there paper finding nothing wrong with paying a monthly fee for a online alternative though. That said I won't.

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