I just moved to LA, the “entertainment capital of the world,” as Shotgun-what’s-his-name said on the radio as I drove down to Venice Beach today. Besides producing lots of TV, film, video and music content, this city has two main trade magazines: Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Both these publications offer free content and a daily paid printed edition. As Nikki Finke (just today ranked by HuffPo as one of the top 10 new media game changers) brought to everyone’s attention, both these trade magazines will start charging for more content. Variety plans to go behind a “paid wall” entirely by next year. (Really, all their info would be hidden to non-payers??) Information is the most valuable commodity in any market, and they’re going to put a price on it. The Hollywood Reporter plans to cancel its print edition altogether (this year).
Rupert Murdoch’s philosophy is the same. He recently killed the free “Londonpaper” in London. And he’s been an outspoken advocate of charging for online content. He has successfully charged for Wall Street Journal content, currently the only paper that charges for access to most of its online content.
But isn’t the internet the place for freemiums and advertiser financed services?? If people get re-accustomed to paying for quality news and exclusive information, will this save the industry? Does this spill over to movies and TV as well? The times are changing. But are we going backwards? Discuss.
By the way, speaking of new media, I’ve found some great articles on PaidContent.com. Highly recommended. Check ‘em. “The company’s news sites chronicle the economic evolution of digital content that is shaping the future of the media, information and entertainment industries.”