Online news discuss charging the public

Thursday, September 18, 2008

By: Allison McNeal

Free viewing of online news organizations may soon become non-existent to the public.

The Financial Times recently introduced a new registration and subscription model to their Web site for daily viewers. This new method is trying to show that the media is not going to be free, like it has been in the past.

The Internet has been struggling to keep up with other media organizations because these companies have subscribers and funding from large corporations. With more and more large companies buying advertisements on media programs, the Internet is falling behind and has little, if any, money to support itself.

Since 2005, many Web sites have tried to turn their slump around and impliment a plan of charging customers. According to, a survey conducted by "the UK Association of Online Publishers, showed that 63% of their members charge for online magazine content, up 5% from 2004".

Even though this survey was taken in England, it shows how the Internet is slowly gaining subscribers.

Advertising director, Rob Grimshaw, said that even though the Financial Times has more free subscribers than paying subscribers, revenue has grown from these non-paying users. Also, private corporations have also started helping out with the production of this new tactic.

This poses an interesting problem: How will these online media sources compete with other large corporations that lay a heavy hand on society?

Online newspapers and media sources will have to get out the word and keep pursuing other larger companies or privately owned corporations to help with the subscription process. Since there are many smaller corporations located around the world, they could influence these Web sites and give them a huge boost.

Individuals need to take this new subscription seriously and know that if they want to receive information online, they will need to start subscribing or paying to use these sites. Many people might not have a problem with subscribing to online media sites, especially if they do not subscribe to an actual newspaper.

With technology increasing each day, the general public will need to decide if online subscriptions will start to catch on or if they will get lost in cyberspace.


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