Thursday, 28 January 2010
Fear and foreboding about the future at the Frontline... and some reasons to be cheerful
On the paywall issue, Schneider claimed: "There's not much confidence that we can charge."
Wired and Press Gazette columnist Peter Kirwan said of all the journalists he had talked to at the event only two paid for online editorial content (to the Wall Street Journal and a German newspaper).
He claimed the mood among journalists was one of uncertainty. "People just don't know where journalism is going."
Kevin Anderson, digital research editor at the Guardian, said he believed something more sophisticated would be developed by newspapers than simply imposing a universal paywall and said he believed there was "an exciting future for journalists".
There were some other reasons to be cheerful.
Schneider revealed that 60% of RBI revenues now came from online. He suggested that people were being "too negative about the scope for ads on digital" once we were out of recession.
Kirwan claimed readers were getting conditioned to paying for content, noting that Emap was doing very well from subscriptions across paywalls. He also said that Apple's just announced iPad offered "an interesting opportunity for magazine publishers."