E-Newspaper, nothing new?

By Peter, July 14, 2009 22:37


My last blog post did not mention the newspapers. How could I forget? Maybe these were the first to discover the speed of Internet. Almost all the newspaper publishers have their own web site, where they provide – for free – every reader with the latest news. Although we – as readers – are interested in the content, we do miss the look and feel of the newspaper itself.

So why are we willing to pay for a newspaper – in paper or in digital form – and not reading our latest news on the Internet? What is the reason, that newspapers are still there? Because the WiFi in the underground is still not perfect? Or the cost for Internet in the train is more expensive than the two newspapers you bought at the kiosk (not to mention the newspapers you receive for free every morning). These reasons are more or less only temporarily. And that’s why the newspaper publishers are more and more shifting towards electronic issues.


One great exemple is www.pressdisplay.com. This site gives you the opportunity to subscribe to more than 1.000 titles from 82 countries in 39 languages. For only $ 29,95 a month you can read them all (if you are able to understand those 39 languages). But for $ 9,95 per month you can read 31 issues per month (so every day one issue) and if you have a free subscription you can read two articles every day. If you compare the $ 9,95 month subscription (€ 85,00 a year) with the NRC Digital subscription (€ 189,90 p/year), you can imagine, that the Dutch NRC must reconsider its pricing policy. The site only shows you the available issues, but gives also headlines and articles, that received the most comments. Also the greatest pictures are shown. It is just like sitting in the middle of the world news. And ig=f you are a news-freak like I am , yo will have the feeling of being in the candy store at an age of six!

iRex-1000s-468And one thing the NRC subscription and the Pressdisplay subscription have in common: they both can be transferred to a digital reader. For example the iRex 1000S. You download the newspaper in full and you are able to browse and read the latest issue, on a time and a place of your choice. You can even keep them for reference and later use. The Dutch papers that are available on this platform are NRC Handelsblad, De Volkskrant and Nederlands Dagblad.

But what about the newspapers from abroad? For that same $ 29,95 per month you cannot only read Dutch newspapers, but also the WallStreet Journal Europe, The Herald Tribune or the New York Times for exanple or Belgium papers. The world is getting smaller and smaller every day. Only the speed of our on-line capabilities are not on the level we would like them to be. It is just a matter of time. News will be everywhere and for everyone at an acceptable price and in a form we would like it to read. Publishers need to be concerned of that and will have a look at their business-model and will have to implement a new strategy: how to sell the advertisements for these new media. Time will tell who will survive.

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