I can't imagine how that could ever have worked. Back in the day, I mostly read stuff linked by news.google.com or in various mail lists. Now it's mainly from HN. But either way, I'd need perhaps 20-40 subscriptions. Which would be unworkable.
We really need a system that pays realistic prices (maybe $0.10 or so) per article read. Whatever you'd get by dividing cost per "issue" by number of articles available to read.
I understand why we should pay for articles but if you enforce payment then you'll see a flood of poorly written click bait and a race to the bottom.
Conversely, people said it didn’t cost any practical amount of money to listen to music, yet Spotify thrives.
This does mean the payment processor and the outlet have to be independent entities. That, though, nicely opens up another possibility of what to do with that money that is denied: distribute it proportionally to all other articles from all other media outlets. Proportionate to what is also a question, but I suspect proportionate to non-denied payment from the processor makes the most sense.
What really bothers me the most about modern "news" is that a lot of it is really just biased political commentary and editorials masquerading as news.
Wait until you learn about the origin of the term "yellow journalism".
The problem is, the food poisoning usually manifests after you've already paid and left the resturant.
Could one do a credit card charge-back if they get sick after eating out? (Too bad I pay using cash though, so I am SOL.)
Unless you automated the "eating", and resold what you didn't need. Which is disgusting, and in the case of online media, almost certainly illegal.
But that is an interesting idea. Buy digital subscriptions to every media outlet that you'd ever want to read, and resell page views, using some sort of proxy setup. And yeah, illegal as hell.
I was just riffing on how to deal with pervasive paywalls that required full subscriptions.
On the other hand most people don't like getting nickled and dimed to death.
No, you should be paying one subscription, to HN, which should be making arrangements with the news sources. Paying for subscriptions from the sources when HN is your gateway is like readers directly subscribing to wire services when they get their news by opening up a newspaper.
The old media “portals” have been displaced and become sources consumed through other portals, but business models haven't fully adapted.
The economics are too hard otherwise. The New York Times won't cede pricing control willingly and consumers won't pay subscription prices to individual producers. And middleman companies will always have two impossible battles, pricing and content coverage.
Music might just be the sweet spot, though. Spotify works great while Netflix is getting torn apart by the sharks. Video might be too expensive/lucrative to aggregate and news articles might be too cheap/pervasive to bother.
I'd be against paying $.10 per article read (or clicked) because most articles, I never fully read. HN is an exception to that rule - I find most of the content linked from HN to be beneficial and worthwhile.
I'm impressed. Older services like that were asking $1 or so per article.
Edit: I do see The Wall Street Journal, which is cool. But do they include The NY Times?
For the record, Blendle tried the pay-per-article model a few years ago, and was unsuccessful. Not sure if they executed it poorly or the model itself is unsustainable, though.
Plus unlike the forms of entertainment sold on services like Spotify or Netflix, news is basically a commodity. For many people, the source of the news isn't some unique selling point that makes them want to pay for it.
So even if their 'favourite' news source does become paid, they'll just go somewhere else and get the same information. Especially given that anyone can basically just copy the giist of a news story and rewrite it in their own words, and most of the media does exactly that. Even if some news site publishes a 'unique' story, it'll be on their competitors sites in one form or another in five minutes flat.
Contrasts this to other forms of media/entertainment people suggest aggregators/services for. Your favourite music artist, video game, TV show, etc can't be 'replaced' by a generic alternative. If you like Star Wars or Marvel or what not, you're gonna have to go through Disney in some way.
There's no generic brand Star Wars or Avengers that's 'good enough' for many people.
Have trends changed? Sure, but they've changed because tech and competition have enabled them to.
If Netflix is eating online news both in terms of attention and money then why wouldn't they partner with Netflix? I know a few seniors that are reluctant to switch because it doesn't have news or weather.
A show like that would be everything they don’t want.
Edit: Sorry, my reading comprehension is bad. This is a pay once, read all you want across multiple source things, not a bucket to deduct payments from. So what I responded with is not what you were looking for... but maybe it's interesting anyway.