Publishers groping with the question of when, whether and how to charge for interactive content often raise the issue of what they could sell, if indeed they ever decided to try.
Here’s a quick checklist to see if you are ready:
- You cannot charge for such commoditized content as world, national, business, sports and entertainment news.
- You might be able to charge for local coverage, if it is sufficiently intensive, comprehensive and exclusive to make to make it required reading for residents of the targeted community.
- In the business-to-business realm, you probably can charge users for exclusive information that helps them make money, avoid losing money or, ideally, both at the same time.
- You probably can charge consumers for two things: (a) exclusive entertainment content and (b) authoritative information that helps them hang on to more of their money.
Astute readers will note that much of the information publishers would like to sell does not fall into any of the above categories. This suggests that newspapers and broadcasters who are keen on peddling content need to focus on creating saleable product before they begin trying to charge for it.
I came to the above conclusions after rating content subjectively on a scale of 1 to 5 according eight attributes I felt would affect its value.
Alan D. Mutter is Managing Partner of Tapit Partners.
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