We are at a very dangerous crossroads when it comes to the internet. Companies are doing what they think they need to do to be profitable and still bring the best content they can to their readers. Publications like the New York Post are trying things in the hope of discovering the secret sauce to make money.
They are heading in the wrong direction and they need to be told as much.
In what “must have sounded like a great idea to someone at News Corp,” the paper has blocked iPad access via Safari, the default browser on the tablet. The goal is to prompt iPad users into downloading their app if they want to get the news. This is a bad precedent, one that cannot work if we don’t want to see it popping up as the option that other publications take.
There are always challenges with running a publication. Advertising dollars are getting smaller and it’s harder now to turn a profit than ever before. While it’s not a bad thing to try to make money, it’s an awful thing to isolate and remove content based upon the device used simply because the people using the device are likely capable of paying the subscription fee.
A better solution would be to have premium content. This is a technique that allows for some or most of the content to be visible through any device, but to block portions of content, features on the site, and added values that can only be accessed by those paying for the subscription. In other words, rather than limit the news, enhance it. Make something more valuable by adding value, not by charging for everything.
New York Post, give us a reason to pay for your app. The reason is not and cannot be the entirety of your content. In essence, you’re saying that your content is more important and higher quality than other publications on the internet that do not charge the consumers and that rely solely on advertising or premium content subscriptions to turn a profit. It’s the harder way, but it’s the right way to do it.
We will not be visiting the site. We will not be downloading their app. We will not encourage the behavior of forcing people into making a purchase for any and every piece of content on the publication. You shouldn’t either.
We will be boycotting the publication until they change their ways. This is a precedent that cannot be set. It cannot work. If it does, we are taking the wrong path at the crossroads. The right path is increasing quality and giving people reasons to download an app or pay a premium subscription charge for content.