You see these links posted on hacker news from time to time
From the site:
The "subscriber link" mechanism allows an LWN.net subscriber to generate a special URL for a subscription-only article. That URL can then be given to others, who will be able to access the article regardless of whether they are subscribed. This feature is made available as a service to LWN subscribers, and in the hope that they will use it to spread the word about their favorite LWN articles.
If this feature is abused, it will hurt LWN's subscription revenues and defeat the whole point. Subscriber links may go away if that comes about.
I think the problem is that it's a bit easy to exploit, and articles from the major publications get shared enough anyway that I don't think giving everyone the ability to "sample" really changes the decision to buy.
It's almost like the relationship the RIAA has had with radio stations. The stations have to pay to license the music they play and then the RIAA member companies orchestrate payola schemes where they pay the radio stations to play their songs.
Can’t wait for the browser plugin that facades being a cold customer. I foresee a cat and mouse game in the future where my AI is presenting me as beneficial to me as possible while their AI is trying to figure out if I’m real.
I read WSJ when I come across links from Hacker News, maybe 10x/month. I'm not gonna pay for that. I already pay for the NYT, the Economist and the New Yorker.
What's a shame is that there's no way for me to pay a set monthly fee for "news" and have that automatically proportioned among the sites I actually visit each month.
Perhaps you would end up with the same issue as Netflix where content providers raise their prices to the point that the aggregator would develop their own content in-house.
Or you could do Spotify for news, and dole out a percentage of the monthly subscription to publications based on the number of articles read.
That's before I even get into the dollars involved.
I subscribe to the Economist print edition (with free digital), and the digital-only NYT and Washington Post. I just don't see myself signing up to the WSJ and the LA Times just to get rid of the paywall the once a month I hit it.
Similarly, I'm not going to subscribe to the Seattle Times (I don't live there anymore, but I like occasionally reading 'local' news from my hometown).
Again, micropayments. If it was 5 cents per article and zero friction, I'd be all over it.
Similar could be said for Australian news sources (the publicly funded ABC and SBS networks being the two best sources of news there in my opinion).
For those who don't know they have a program called Media Watch which calls out biased reporting in the media - sometimes they even criticise their own organization when backed by evidence.
(The WSJ editorial page has always been terrible, but the news organization at least used to have a good reputation.)
Maybe because it isn't quality journalism. Ultimately, something is worth what people are willing to pay for.
> The world will be a dark place if the only news sources left are blogs by self-proclaimed journalists.
It's just as dark a place with "quality journalism".
My comment wasn't meant to apply to a specific website/newspaper per se, but the general state of online news media. Surely you believe someone or some publication somewhere is performing quality journalism.
So, in your opinion, what is quality journalism?
Just because something is profitable doesn't mean it is quality. Clickbait titles bring in ad dollars, but no one argues they result in a better article/story.
Sadly it's already happening and is impossible to regulate for electronic products.
For any hypothetical situation, "What if AI makes this unethical recommendation?", we can't actually answer this question unless it happens, because as humans, the reasoning behind such a situation are hard for us to imagine in a hypothetical.
They do make a point of saying "The cost of a subscription doesn’t vary based on a reader’s score", probably for exactly the reasons you cite -- that's some murky untested law to wade into. I'm sure no company wants to be the first to have to base their defense on "but the AI did it!"
A discriminatory paywall has a similar effect as discriminatory pricing, but feels like safer legal territory because it happens before money changes hands.
(But does it still count as discrimination if you give the product away for free, but only to certain types of customer?)
You could visit a site and read an article or two for free so you have some idea of the quality and then have the option of paying something like $2-5 for full access for a day or week with no obligation to unsubscribe because it really is a simple payment - like purchasing the daily/weekly paper.
This might work better for online magazines or blogs that publish relatively few articles than for newspapers that feel they may have a better chance of attracting traditional subscribers.
You wouldn't have to use this as a replacement for the more traditional subscription because that would still offer much better value (just as subscribing to printed newspapers does).
In a few years, if all the sites were doing this, then anyone who pays for journalism at at one site could find their propensity score raised, and encounter paywalls everywhere else. The last thing we should want is for consumers to internalize the notion that "only suckers pay for journalism because then you get locked out of the rest of the internet".
Sort of like how people can be reluctant to ever give money to any charity because they know it will sell their info to other charities and they will be inundated with junk mail.
It was a classic 'boil the frog slowly' campaign. I boosted their print circulation numbers and over the next five years I barely noticed the increments until I paid full price.
I stopped because Murdoch press is toxic. But the trick undoubtedly worked.
The up front paywall costs we're exposed to are far higher than the 'free option' choices. 2c is closer to free than $2 is in my own mental barrier. If we had a sensible marginal cost micropayments framework, I would subscribe initially to a lot of press for 2c per day, and probably tolerate the incremental costs.
the WSJ headline offer is $1 for two months. Thats damn close to my margins. I think they've got the message.
The AFR, an Australian equivalent, want to give me a month free but then $69 per month. I don't think they understand kitchen-sink economics as well as either Mrs Thatcher, or the WSJ.