Given the recent developments around our house and the logical uptick in uploading to Flickr, I went ahead and took the $24.95/yr plunge.
What I get for my money: Unlimited uploading, unlimited image storage, unlimited bundling and feeding of images, and all the old stuff that had been pushed out of my top 200 by the new stuff has come back to life, which means you can once again see any and all of my vacation pictures from the last few years. I know, it’s ahrd to contain your excitement.
But the fact that I finally laid down some cash for a service I had used for free for a few years started the wheels turning in my head.
The question, as always: What are your online newspaper readers willing to pay for?
I’ve bitched and moaned about TimesSelect being a backwards way to pull your opinion leaders out of the public forum and hide them behind a paywall, but I’m starting to get over it. After all, it’s the News that Everyman needs, and that stays out in public where he can get at it.
But when we want just a little bit more, there it is, available for a price.
It’s the business model that makes Flickr and Feedburner and WordPress.com viable and perhaps profitable.
Create a tool that millions of users can play with for free, but make sure there are premium features they can pay just a little bit more to access. Make them look cool. Call them “Pros.”
Sooooooo if you’re not a big regional paper with a stable of columnists you can pull behind a paywall, what are the features that can get readers to shell out that little bit of cash?
It’s a damn fine question. There might be easy answers when it comes to classified advertising, but not news content. What exclusive content are you willing to pull out of the hands of the masses?