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Hot off the presses!

It’s a given that newspaper sites don’t make money.  The huge costs of maintaining an international string of staffers will always overwhelm the ad income from an on-line audience of a few million.  Hence Rupert Murdoch’s policy of charging for content seemd to have the sound of inevitabilty about it.

But now one tabloid has achieved 72% audience growth year on year and kept its costs down by being run completely separately from its mother paper.  Its only costs are staff and any content it buys in.  It benefits from the mother paper branding but has none of the overheads.  And it will be self-financing or into clear profit any day now.  Or at least, that’s what their online chief is quoted as saying by one of their competitors.

So while the Times risks becoming a news club with a limited, self-selecting, membership, and the Guardian bravely flies the flag for free access to quality content, the much-derided Daily Mail shows the way forward.

For news media, this could be a real game-changer.  Does the fact that the Peter Preston’s excellent Media Guardian blog is so interested perhaps show that his employers will be coming round to the idea before too long?

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