Meeting with The Washington Post for the first time since he acquired the paper, Jeff Bezos supported selling digital news content in a bundled format.
He stressed that the paper should be focused on loyal readers and tablet users, versus random hits generated from the web … But is this really a good idea? Online news works differently than eBooks and even Kindle Singles, which people are more willing to buy. Consumers are used to the news being free online and will go to find the same story in another publication if they can’t find it on a specific news site.
Washington Post fiction editor Ron Charles wrote a fascinating column, looking at a much, much older idea of “bundling” from colonial America. Check it out:
I first ran across the word “bundling” when I was studying early American literature in graduate school. In Colonial times, it was a common courting practice: A young man and woman would wrap themselves in separate blankets and then settle in for an evening of chaste conversation. Something like what we used to call “making out.”