Monday, April 10, 2006

UK publishers embrace free content trend

UK publishers embrace free content trend: This snippet comes just in time to save the UK publishing industry.

There is every case for charging for content if you have the unique capability or content that someone wants. But sooner or later the technology will catch up. People will pay for values that are a fair exchange. Information has been disintermediated. It looks like the publishers have now begun to find out:

"The 2006 census by UK trade group the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) found that only 37 per cent of members now charge for branded online content, down from 63 per cent in 2005.

Publishers' major income source is display advertising, which accounts for 41 per cent of revenue. Paid content makes up 18 per cent, of which 78 per cent is from subscriptions and 22 per cent from one-off payments, and sponsorship accounts for 9 per cent.

But for those Association of Online Publishers' members that do charge, subscriptions form a significant part of their overall income. More than a third (37 per cent) of publishers who charge for content earned more than £1 million in subscription revenue alone in 2005; 26 per cent earned more than £5m.

More business publishers charge for content than consumer publishers: 40 per cent compared with 34 per cent.

The recent consensus on paid content has been that the majority of web users will only pay for content that is unique, such as specialist business information or opinion and comment that cannot be found elsewhere on the web for free."

Wherever that may be. If its worth it it will be out there.