Making Money Online: Traditional Print Publishing versus Online Subscription Website Publishing

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If you want to see a traditional print publisher explode all you need to do is say “Print publishing is dead; it’s just old fashioned editors that are keeping it on a life support system!”

I don’t actually believe print is dead, but its fun watching the reaction.

Indeed online publishing should be a natural extension of traditional newsletter, newspaper and magazine publishing, but many of the publishers look at the web as it is persistent and unwanted veruca, which they can’t get rid of.

And they never will be able to get rid of it!

The web is here to stay and it will start eating more and more of the traditional publishers lunch…..and here are some of the reasons why.

If you are a traditional print publisher please take note.

  • Low cost of delivery at a time when postage and physical distribution costs are rising
  • No typesetting and printing costs. Editors and contributors can add articles and comments directly to the website as they are written
  • Archives of content can easily be made available in a simple, searchable format, adding great value for subscribers. Print publication readers rarely archive old magazines and newsletter as they are difficult to search, so the value of the information is quickly lost
  • Ability to constantly update and refresh content. No need to be restricted by publication dates. These opens up new areas of content that would previously not been possible. E.g. breaking news, investment advice, etc.
  • Online membership administration can be completely automated, avoiding the need for costly manual processing of cheques, standing orders, direct debits, etc.
  • Members can interact with each other through online discussion forums; this interaction creates a sense of community and engenders greater loyalty
  • Global reach enables niche subject areas to become commercially viable at little extra cost
  • Content can be provided in multimedia formats including audio and video. Podcasts are becoming an important way of distributing information
  • Different membership offers can be easily tested, tracked and tweaked
  • The publisher can observe in real-time what areas of the site are most popular and use this market intelligence to continually improve the offering. Print publishers have no idea what articles subscribers read and value
  • A website is always on and always available wherever a reader is
  • The cost of marketing will be reduced as the search engines starting listing a site on the search results pages
  • New members get instant gratification. They can sign up and be reading the very latest information within minutes

To finish off with I will leave you with a quote from one of the most powerful and influential publishers in the world, Rupert Murdoch:

“I believe we are at the dawn of a golden age of information – an empire of new knowledge. It is difficult – indeed dangerous – to underestimate the huge changes this revolution will bring to print media or the power of developing technologies to build and destroy companies”

“Companies that expect a glorious past in print to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall.”

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