Monday, January 26, 2009

Pay For News Online? Really? Yes, Says U.S. News.

Peter Kafka writes:

U.S. News & World Report, which used to be a weekly news magazine, then a biweekly one and is now a monthly publication, is going to try producing a weekly magazine once again. Online. And it wants you to pay up to read it: A year-long subscription to “U.S. News Weekly” will cost $20.

And if you think that none of that makes sense, don’t worry. Everyone knows you can’t charge people a penny to read something on the Web–especially a weekly publication.

Except that you can: The Economist does a (relatively) healthy business while keeping its weekly magazine behind a subscription paywall. So does the Wall Street Journal’s Barron’s. And as the online ad business continues to evaporate, charging people for access to stuff they want does not seem completely insane.

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