Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Paying for what doesn't come free any more

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  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Sacha,

    Online measuring is not as sharp as you'd think and the measurements are not fully explained to the advertiser.

    The first thing you need to know about a website is the unique visitors and the bounce rate, they go hand in hand. The single visitor figure is a wild figure, the bounce rate shows who actually meant to come to this site.

    The second thing is what are your readers buying, what does public address buy? Do you even read internet ads?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report

  • debunk,

    Amused at the Willingness To Pay touch. NBR has disappeared from sight if interested reader not WTP and can't see this model working for present venture where the economic debate, for starters, is hanging on the coat-tails of varied and various explanations pouring out in books from all and sundry wrt 2008+ hysterical response to the state of the finance world.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to debunk,

    I guess the big question is how does media earn a crust in 2013? Or does it, is it to big to fail? Well of course.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report

  • Angus Robertson,

    Why would you pay for a political opinion to be written if you were then prevented from sharing that political opinion with others?

    We follow a media entity due to the set of values we share with the authors and those are values we want to promote to others. The writers are mostly presenting our shared ideas more eloquently.

    The idea of subscription to a public channel is worthwhile as it affords us the opportunity to spread our favourable opinions far and wide. Restricting access for political opinion to behind a pay copyright wall is contrary to purpose and therefore silly.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Why would you pay for a political opinion to be written if you were then prevented from sharing that political opinion with others?

    Isn't that precisely what we do with dead tree publications and pay TV?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report

  • Bernard Hickey, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Many thanks for writing this piece, which is the most indepth and considered I've seen so far.
    Interesting point on restricting the ability to comment to paying members. I agree it would be preferable to have it open and the initial response from people is that openness of commenting is part of the 'gift' to the public that members are paying for.
    Fair enough.
    I'm searching for that threshold where people feel like they are getting some value for their membership.
    Quietly, I've seen plenty of ugly discussions develop between commenters on blogs who don't pay to be part of that community. Having the threshold above the comments may get rid of some of the trolls.
    But as you say, it's just a matter of careful management. Maybe I'm just a bit tired of troll management over at Interest.co.nz.
    Thanks again Russell for your thoughtful piece.
    PS Sorry it took me so long to engage on here. It's been a frantic week.

    Since May 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Bernard Hickey,

    Do you reckon the comments on paywalled NBR articles are any less foamy than the free ones?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Bernard Hickey, in reply to Peter Griffin,

    Peter is right. We're very keen to partner with newspapers, television and radio to get this journalism out to the broadest possible audience and get the best value for the money paid by members.

    Since May 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Bernard Hickey, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Deep Red
    Good points. Many others have pointed me to the successors to TVNZ7. On my list of people to contact.
    NZ is too small to be too splintered.

    Since May 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Bernard Hickey, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm not sure. I've only just subscribed to the NBR in recent days. My initial impression is there are fewer comments and less extreme comments on the paywalled articles.
    But I'd need a few more weeks of viewing to give a more confident view. Your thoughts?

    Since May 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Bernard Hickey,

    No sub, hence my curiosity. :)

    It takes effort to build a community that moderates itself but there are other ways to contribute/get buy-in than money.

    Regardless, everyone being able to view comments if not make them would help get broadest engagement, search hits, etc. Your venture deserves that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Bernard Hickey, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Micropayments are a seductive idea, but the ones that people have tried have flopped.
    The only paywalls I've seen or heard that worked were the 'perforated' ones operated by the FT.com, WSJ.com and NYTimes.
    You can get behind the wall by bouncing in from Google and (sometimes) twitter and blogs. Essentially they nag you into subscribing.
    They work (so far) because of the enormous brands they have and the ability for subs to the FT and WSJ to essentially write it off as a work expense.
    I don't think paywalls will work for anything general interest while there is still so much free.
    Another option that has been tried in Slovakia is to create a single site that includes all the news from all the mainstream outlets in that one country and sell subscriptions to the single site, with micropayments then passed on to the publishers based on the number of articles read. See more detail on Piano Media here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Media
    The idea is that in a closed market like Slovakia (with a non-international language) it might actually work.
    I've often wondered by Fairfax, APN, Mediaworks and TVNZ don't get together to do a similar thing here.

    Since May 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    the ability for subs to the FT and WSJ to essentially write it off as a work expense

    Also, they've been selling subscription services for at least 20 years, probably longer, over services such as Dialog, Newsedge and Telerate. (The latter was owned by Dow Jones). I worked in that industry in the 90's, and there were large numbers (several hundred thousand) of WSJ subs and a similar, if smaller, set of FT subs out there, at prices of several hundred dollars a month, if I recall correctly.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to ,

    fuck off spamster

    I know what... track down the culprit's physical address, and sign it up to as many snail-mail catalogs as possible.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    That would be brillant! (Imagine it getting the South Westland Dairy Farmers’ Complete catalogue a 1000 times – ) – o wait, that’s a physically posted article…

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    And cellular data is almost reaching the pricing where it's affordable to use a smartphone for all-day radio listening over 3G.

    Even if you had no other network than 3G, it's affordable. But the places most people spend most of their time, the workplace or home, are easily equipped with WiFi networks, and non-stop internet radio would hardly show up as a significant part of a home broadband bill.

    This morning I was curious about Yamis' request, so I checked it out on the Android market. For the princely sum of 99 American cents, I purchased TuneIn Pro, which gives me the ability to record any of the radio streams or pre-recordings they have on there. There are 70,000 stations available, and over 2 million recordings. Recording can be scheduled. Every NZ station I've ever heard of is on there. I recorded a couple of hours of a station just to satisfy myself it could be done. Interestingly the recording is cleaned up, the occasional dropouts you get while streaming were entirely absent. Naturally, I could jump past advertising breaks.

    Here's the really interesting part, though. The freeware version of the software, which doesn't support recording, has 20 times as many downloads. So only a fraction of the people who are listening to internet radio with that software see any point in recording it (I can't believe that the price of the software is a factor, considering that live streaming over 3G isn't free). I think the reasons I already gave explain this - that once you are streaming internet radio at all then your thinking about the value of pre-recording changes. You want the immediacy of actual radio. Or you might as well just be listening to your actual library of music.

    Maybe this will change. But I don't think so - we've been able to record radio since audio cassettes were invented, but most people didn't prefer to listen to the radio like that. It's a niche market.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

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