Details on Journalism Online’s pay plan

10 09 2009

Journalism Online has presented details of its pay-for-news proposal to the Newspaper Association of America.

JO’s pitch says that much online content would remain free and would produce ad revenue, but that newspapers could expect to sign up 10 percent of visitors to paid subscriptions at $7.50 per month or $75 per year (earlier estimates were $50-60 per year). The details available at the Nieman Foundation’s blog are unclear, but I assume that the $.25 micropayment charge is for non-subscribers who want to obtain premium content. It seems unlikely that someone paying $7.50 per month also would pay two bits per article they view. If I’m right, the subscription price would appeal only to those planning to download more than one story a day or 300 stories a year.

JO would take a 20 percent cut of these fees after credit card charges. JO says it has agreements with media companies representing 176 dailies, but has revealed few names.

Pay-Pal and Google Checkout have their own schemes for paid news content, but JO says its version will produce more revenue for newspapers.

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