Thursday, March 17, 2011

Does Payne sound like he believes in paywalls?

"At CNN we tried integrating into PayPal, integrating to a telephone or cable bill, making it easy for people to opt in to pay.
They just won't do it.''

-- David Payne, just named Gannett's chief digital officer, in a December 2009 interview with Forbes. Pitching the value of his ShortTail Media-served full-screen video ads, the former CNN executive said: "The strategy behind digital advertising now, which is to park ads on the side of a page, is not working. It's complete and utter noise. . . . Basically, it comes down to this: Do you want to pull out a credit card or watch the ad? We'll win that question every time."

Earlier: Payne's predecessor, Chris Saridakis, attacks paywalls.


  1. Hello? Have you all ever heard of Pointroll? Revenue generators, profitable ad serving of RICH banner ads.
    Stuff works. Might annoy some consumers but so do TV ads and radio ads.
    I'm more annoyed by the WSJ links that don't allow me to read a story (until I pay). Now THAT is annoying. The truth is this: some users will click the ads if they care about the ad, some will pay if they really want the edit. In both camps, it will be only a small percentage ..BUT IT WILL BE ENOUGH! Money is money. Newspapers (print) already have both models in place. So does cable TV.

  2. Well, I wonder when mr. Dubow will stop "experimenting" with pay walls and ONgo their recent investment. Seems like Mr. Payne is diametrically opposed to what Dickey and Hunke and Lougee and Williams (as well as Martore) having been telling their board, their investors and their analysts.

  3. I can get an AP feed on my phone. The app was free, and there's no subscription.
    So, pay for news or get it free?
    This is not rocket science, but it's what anyone considering paywalls is up against.

  4. Paywalls work best for local newspapers. For CNN? Of course not. For Phoenix and Poughkeepsie? Yep, it will work, and well.

  5. For Phoenix and Poughkeepsie? I don't think so. Unless they're really delivering news I can't live without.

    I wonder what Patch's long-term plan is? The sites I've seen certainly don't have advertising worth much. And again the sites I've seen here in the NYC metro area don't have the kind of indepth news I'd pay for.

  6. Why would people pay for CNN when most of what it delivers is free nearly everywhere else?

    That’s the point Gannett continues to miss as other than USAToday, the bulk of its content is local and unique (editorial cutbacks are changing that one). It had a strong base of subscribers, more than willing and used to paying for content, a base that would have paid for web access providing the right combo prices were in place; not unlike how started more than ten years ago.

    Instead, Gannett still lumbers, holding all of its papers back to study this more all while its print subscriber base shrinks because they’ve learned they can get even their local news for free, most of it even before the paper gets printed. If they’re clever, they can knock out the web ads too.


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