Interesting article over on Reflections of a Newsosaur. This guy thinks that media outlets made a huge mistake by putting their content on the web for free. A few of the unintended consequences of this 'original sin':
:: "By giving away their content on the web, publishers made it unnecessary for consumers to subscribe to the publications that generated the high advertising revenues that subsidize the cost of producing content.
:: "Publishers devalued their once-powerful franchises by letting anyone link freely to their content on the web.
:: "The wide availability of free content on the web quickly convinced consumers, who didn’t need much persuading, that content should be free."
His solution to the problem is to put their content behind a paid subscription...which has proved completely ineffective in the past.
I thought one of the comments summed it up the best:
"What worries me is that I'm not sure that most newspapers have anything to charge for. Reviews? I can get those from my friends on Facebook. Columnists? Good Lord there's a whole blogosphere to choose from. Breaking news? Um, no." (Can you say Twitter?)
"So what then?
"There is plenty of free content on the web. Most of it crap, some of it mediocre and, yes, some small bit of it top notch. Newspapers will have to compete with all of it and this means their content will have to compete with top-notch.
"And I'm not sure it can."