On May 28, 2009, executives from every major newspaper company and and The Associated Press gathered at the O’Hare Hilton in Chicago to discuss their options for building a business model on the Internet. The meeting, entitled “Models to Lawfully Monetize Content,” began with presentations from three companies offering new revenue streams from reader fees and advertising. (Read the agenda.)
Our coverage of The Chicago Meeting includes most of the material distributed to executives and lays out many of the options that newspapers are considering in 2009 to repair their businesses: a mix of free and paid content online; monthly and annual subscriptions; per-article fees, or micropayments; targeted advertising; and revenue shares with authorized and unauthorized content syndicators.
Other pieces include a 23-minute interview with Steve Brill, the American Press Institute report on charging for news that was prepared for the executives, commentary on paid content, and concern over antitrust laws. At Poynter, Rick Edmunds summarized the aforementioned API report and wrote about another one advocating that the newspaper industry create a Craigslist competitor.
Newspaper companies face particular business challenges that may not apply to the broader future of news. But in studying their precarious situation, we can see where the industry is heading and learn from the success and failure of its choices.