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Paying for Your Online News

Posted by absolutelyape on September 12, 2008

Bill Densmore spoke on “Building the Information Valet Economy” –

“The idea is to define, rally, doc and support a coalition of publishers, advertisers, technology and financial services companies in a… network.”

It’s called a “valet” because that’s the name of the person in the hotel lobby that knows everything that’s going on… this program is supposed to help you access information that’s expensive to produce or based on permissions. Basically, if you were a part of it, you would buy access to or get paid to view information online.

“The meaningful way to fight piracy is you need to gives consumers legitimate options to get what they want.” – Peter Chernin, Pres, News Corp.

Information Valet wants to make it easy for people to “do the right thing” (pay for news services). They want to look at news as a service, not as a product.

It sounds daunting to think that news sources will not be free online at some point… I’m not sure how much I believe that the widespread news industry will, through something like Information Valet, start charging to view their sites. A few major news sources have tried to get people to subscribe (and most magazines still do… Foreign Policy, National Review, etc.), but the Wall Street Journal is the only major newspaper that’s been able to pull it off. (I’m not including charges for archives, like the NYT.)

How do you get people to pay for something they’ve been getting for free for years? It would have to be a comprehensive, wide-spread effort. I guess we’ll see how it pans out in the next couple of years. I don’t buy it, but some people may.

And here’s another question: since it’s online, how much of this for-pay information will just end up getting hacked?

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