May 9, 2013

A paywall at Politico?!

"As recently as a few months ago, we thought it was premature for POLITICO to start asking readers to pay for content, outside of Pro. But, it is increasingly clear that readers are more willing than we once thought to pay for content they value and enjoy. With more than 300 media companies now charging for online content in the U.S., the notion of paying to read expensive-to-produce journalism is no longer that exotic for sophisticated consumers."

Sophisticated, eh? I can't believe people will pay for Politico or that Politico would want to restrict access.

63 comments:

Rose said...

I will not pay for Politco. there are some I would and will, but not that one.

phx said...

Oh man I'm so glad some of these time-wasters are making it easy to ignore them.

Lem said...

The king will go elsewhere.

Richard Dolan said...

Yes, it does seem self-defeating and not a little self-delusional. It's the least bloggy way imaginable to try to monetize web content.

It's based on the old newspaper model of selling journalism one paper at a time. That model worked when competitive sources of information were few (so no readily available substitutes). And the substitutes that did exist (a different newspaper or magazine) were priced (more or less) similarly.

Not exactly a close fit if you're trying to sell commentary on the Internet, as politico will be.

bpm4532 said...

lets just hope the Puffington Host goes all paywall. I don't think their typical reader would pay for it.

AJ Lynch said...

How is Politico different from Huffpo? Except I guess Politico pays its employee/writers while Huffpo uses unpaid hobbyists right? And both provide librul propaganda- maybe Politico can get Soros to pay for the first million "paid" subscriptions.

Michael K said...

"I pay for the Wall Street Journal and a couple of investment letters. Politico ? I doubt even the lefties will pay as they can get that free on NBC.

Rose said...

It'll sure narrow things down if it takes hold. There'll be mass consolidation and stable-building, certain writers will be a draw. Ultimately there will be a few mega sites, like there was TIME and NEWSWEAK in their day.

Bob Ellison said...

The folks who might be willing to pay for Politico won't actually pay for Politico.

Pogo said...

Is Politico something I'm supposed to click on?

bagoh20 said...

It's all about the benjamins.

Craig Landon said...

Why does Politico sound vaguely like a Spanish news magazine to me?

bwebster said...

I barely read Politico -- usually, I just scan the headlines on their home page (which is what I do for a lot of sites). If they actually have a substantial set of likely subscribers, then more power to them -- but I think they'll lose more than they gain.

chrisnavin.com said...

It's harder for blogging to be a platform for individual writers. They have to be name draws in the larger corral.

The Corral doors are closing behind paywalls to some extent, with blogging having been appropriated by the big players adapting to mobile readership and how people surf nowadays.

Ben said...

I think the success of a paywall for politico would depend upon how much they're willing to pay me...

The Grey Man said...

"Politico doesn't like poor people - women and minorities most affected."

Lem said...

If Drudge and Althouse didn't link to them I wouldn't even know they existed.

Rabel said...

Don't overlook the little note waaaay down at the bottom.

Lem said...

Why would I pay for Political Propaganda?

That's like paying for a gastric band.

Lem said...

This one?

On a separate note, POLITICO started experimenting with sponsored content today.

or this one?

Politico should pay us to read this crappy rag. What a joke.

Nathan Alexander said...

On the per hand, restricting access via a pay wall makes it easier to distribute and/or talking points to the correct recipients, no?

Sam L. said...

One might think they'd try NY, MA, NJ,CT,CA, and IL; or MN, MI, WI--Blue states.

Benjamins, bagoh20? I see washingtons, or 30 pieces of silver (dimes).

kcom said...

Remember that blissful period where the NYT did the world a favor and shut Maureen Dowd away in a secret oda somewhere. Those were the days.

kcom said...

Remember that blissful period where the NYT did the world a favor and shut Maureen Dowd away in a secret oda somewhere. Those were the days.

wyo sis said...

I'll pay for content I want to get. Politico doesn't qualify. But why wouldn't liberal readers pay if they want to read it?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I know Althouse must be paying for NYT online, because clicking on her frequent links hits the NYT 10 free article limit in the first week or two each month.

The Boston Globe online wants $200/yr which is more than the $125 I ised to pay Mon-Sat at the newsstand. The WSJ online wants $260/yr. The cable news bill is higher than that, if I were to do a cost allocation.

The Politico test paywall seems designed to fail. Maybe they'll get a couple of subscribers in Vermont or Iowa. But Mississippi? New Mexico? North Dakota? Wyoming?

Chip Ahoy said...

Your cynical barbs and japes cheer me, they do. Politico does have good original content. They also have liberal advocacy that borders a streak of satire that must be shushed, that is, skied through by following the tracks, the faint tracks that are basically white-on-white.

Here's an aggregate site polurls I like to check out sometimes, blue/purple/red

Notice on the blue column, if you do, all the references to Benghazi link to Jon Stewart and his takedown (apparently). No original content, just Jon Stewart being spoon-fed around. None of the them mention The Boy That Lived on MSNBC, I heard him/her today and stopped momentarily to absorb his/her take until my ears shut it down, which was fast. Damn, he/she is hard to listen to. It was all that trademark ridicule.

"All the tweeters madly typing b.e.n.g.h.a.z.i, gotta get that 'h' in there that's so hard to remember,"

his/her cartoon version of opposition cannot spell as well as he/she does him/herself with his/her PhD, but delivered in a uniquely scritchy-scratchy hag voice. I concluded something is wrong electronically with that studio mic. It doesn't match his/her voice.

Ghettoization is what the Ace essay termed it yesterday. All the kids do it.

I've been too easy on the people I speak with whenever politics comes up. I've held back in order to remain civil but after noticing Benghazi=Jon Stewart on the blue column today I am one increment less civil. For now on I will assume any liberal interlocutor gets their information directly or indirectly from Jon Stewart, and I'll say so. When they deny it then I'll say, that their source gets their views formulated for them by a Jon Stewart's writers. Satirists! That's why your views are forever tied up in knots. It's why you are illogical and impossible to talk to about serious things. You actually don't know the difference between important and unimportant things! This blue/purple/red roundup of the items on the most popular political blogs makes that so clear.

Matt said...

I think you all are missing one of the Professor's clever, cryptic messages. Look at the title, "A paywall at Politico?!" It is not the fact there is a paywall, it is that it is Politico. Thus, the real question we are supposed to answer is "How much would you pay to visit Althouse?"

To which I say, "It depends. Would Meade be there?"

Steven said...

Well, we'll see how weak the paywall is. Will it be a real one like the Times (of London), or an easily-subverted joke (like the New York Times, LA Times, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal ones)?

rcommal said...

Cynicism is why, and it might just work. And why not? (After all, there is plenty of precedent right here at Althouse.)

rcommal said...

...

rcommal said...

Also, whenever Althouse makes reference to whatever/whoever else is doing, or is proposing to do, *whatever* out there in terms of this here Internet, I am reminded [for just one example] of her reaction to the starting-up of Pajamas Media.

elkh1 said...

Sophisticated, eh? I can't believe people will pay for Politico ...

You are unsophisticated.

Leftists pay to shore up their echo chambers. They once used the law, the do-called Fairness Doctrine, to coerce radio stations to pay them to broadcast their propaganda. They may yet find a way to impose the "Fairness Doctrine" on the internet if their leftist blogs don't survive. How about a NPR (i.e. taxpayers) funded National Public Blog?

Matt said...

For a cafe discussion, perhaps: Are you stealing if you circumvent a paywall?

Chip Ahoy said...

Hill plows canoes, now with improved skating action!

I learned a new thing having to do with color restrictions and file size reductions.

If I take the source pic and save it as GIF with reduced colors, I can choose the colors myself, as I did here to preserve the eerie colorized nature of the original closely as possible. So the source, the repeated background, is saved and used as a simplified file. That makes it possible to use more frames in the animation.

Because the final file was so small that allowed me to double it for a regularly large file and acceptable compromise in color variation.

Miss Emily said...

They are kidding, aren't they?
Pay for garbage? Really?

Jeff Teal said...

Liberals always seem to think their opinions are worth more.

Jeff Teal said...

Liberals always seem to think their opinions are worth more.

Jeff Teal said...

Air America anyone?Anyone?

DEEBEE said...

That clearly means you are not sophisticated, but clearly too sophisticated to fall for the money sipping Politicoes.

HA said...

How much are lefties willing to pay for their own echoes?

edutcher said...

It's a sign their message is failing.

How many Conservative sites need to do that?

PS I didn't realize trolls and "low info" voters were "sophisticated consumers".

ddh said...

"Sophisticated"--isn't that type of person born every minute?

Jeff H said...

Politiwho?

Ridicule is the best antidote to an inflated self-image.

veni vidi vici said...

The only payworthy newsmedia is that which (a) has tremendous and proven-effective investigative/reporting resources; and/OR (b) has a deep and sustaining respect for objectivity in reporting.

Given the foregoing, I'd rather hang out and read encapsulations spun by bloggers with whose biases and styles I'm familiark with bonus points to sites where the commenting community is intelligent and broadly representative of different viewpoints.

Politico's value proposition in a paid-subscription model doesn't compute given the available alternatives.

MadisonMan said...

Good luck to them and the set of sophisticates that click at their site.

pm317 said...

expensive-to-produce journalism

ROFL.. Journalism? Maybe if they did real journalism, people would flock to them and politico wouldn't have to charge them.

Paco Wové said...

"aggregate site polurls"

Interesting site, thanks for the link.

pm317 said...

Chip Ahoy.. thanks for that link, better than memeorandum. And your point is right on the money.

Moneyrunner said...

The problem that Politico has is that it’s primarily opinion with some gossip thrown in. Opinion is free and available in too many other venues to make it pay. There is value in information, which makes the Wall Street Journal worth the subscription price, especially the electronic version.

One of the most valuable franchises is Drudge. I am fairly confident that he could charge for access not because of his original reporting – but he has an incredible talent for knowing what people find interesting and presenting a menu from which they can pick. And don’t forget Glenn Reynolds whose quirky humor is worth paying for.

pm317 said...

The amazing thing is nobody, NOBODY is asking where Obama was and what he did when Benghazi attack happened. It is astounding to me. It is as if they are afraid to utter his name in connection with that. If Politico volunteers to find out I will pay for content.

Matthew Sablan said...

I remember when Politico was a daily read for me. Then, the election of 2008 happened and it became pretty much indistinguishable from WaPo and the NYT, though with a bit more inside baseball.

Paddy O said...

Chip @ 12:19, that's good stuff. I think that comment should be front-paged.

sinz52 said...

If I had to choose, I would rather pay for the Washington Post than POLITICO.

The WPost and the NYT do investigative reporting. POLITICO has exclusives only occasionally.

Look at today's offerings on POLITICO. Much of it is analysis and commentary of the sort I can get many other places. Plus there are fluff articles--today there's one on Justin Bieber.

That type of format is what newsmagazines like Newsweek used to offer--and Newsweek folded precisely because that stuff is so widely available on the Internet these days.

kcom said...

"The amazing thing is nobody, NOBODY is asking where Obama was and what he did when Benghazi attack happened."

But they were all over that Valerie Plame story because that was far more important. A socialite CIA agent was "outed". It's not like Obama and his administration were responsible for anything that reprehensible. It was just a few deaths a long time ago in a situation where the details don't really matter. Do they?

DADvocate said...

Pay to read Politico and you can be sophisticated too!!

TosaGuy said...

P.T. Barnum has a say for these types of "sophisticated" people.

Paddy O said...

Seems like they're going for the politiphile crowd. The same way that Monster cables go after the "audiophile" crowd. Paying more money for a product others are selling for much cheaper, or for free, makes people feel sophisticated in their tastes.

I actually heard a church leader say, echoing a common assumption, that it always got a bigger crowd if they charged some kind of fee for an event. Americans of a certain class don't feel it's worth their time if its free, because free means crap.

Paying for something is how a lot of people determine quality, often the only way they're able to determine quality.

veni vidi vici said...

It's only worthwhile if you get a bumper sticker with your subscription. So everyone can see your holiness.

Amartel said...

They've gone full tilt stupid.
They should charge their fellow Journ-O-Listers. That's the money.

rcommal said...

How many Conservative sites need to do that?

Are you kidding me? You want to put this in terms of need as juxtaposed with profit w/r/t to ... oh, dang.

Good grief on a great, garrulous, gasting-flabber scale.

---

A reason that I admire Rush Limbaugh is that he's been honest from the git-go about what is required to be not just successful, but ***also actually profitable*** *financially* speaking.

He's not the only one to have pointed that out, nor the only one to have been ignored by followers who appear to have a hard time extrapolating from the message given.

rcommal said...

Whenever I need yet another damned reminder that there will always be people who demand yet another free thing, I can just come here to Althouse.

That there's regular kvetching about free stuff and so forth is just a bit of...seasoning, marinade, a spice rub, whatever: you know, the stuff you apply to raw meat before you grill it. In other words, just extra, not something required and not even needed. Mostly, it's an affectation, IOW.

Thee, not me, is mostly the vein of it.

rcommal said...

I say: Pay for it, or don't pay for it. Buy it, or don't buy it. It's a commodity, right? Pretty much like everything else, and also, philosophically speaking, why should anything into which [small "l"] labor is put--whether or not any individual person or a specific cohort or collection of people likes it or not--be free, much less expected to be so?