Journalism Online, the company that plans to help publishers monetize content, has signed 176 dailies as affiliate partners. In total, more than 500 newspapers, magazines and other sites have agreed to join Journalism Online representing more than 90 million monthly unique users.
Publishing affiliates will be able to select their own pay models. Journalism Online is offering a variety of ways to do that including technology that allows for micropayments, sampling, the ability to turn off the system at will, and the ability to convert users from micropayments to a subscription model.
"By creating a platform of flexible hybrid models for paid content that maximizes online advertising revenue while creating a new revenue stream from readers, Journalism Online has helped shift the debate over charging for online new from 'if' to 'when and how,'" Steven Brill, co-founder of Journalism Online, said in a statement.
Brill added that many publishers have moved past the "abstract debate" and are now working toward some kind of paid content model. The executives of Journalism Online figure that by focusing on 10 percent on avid readers, on average a Web site would keep 88 percent of page views and 91 percent of ad revenue if it put in place a paid-content strategy.
Gordon Crovitz, co-founder of Journalism Online, said that he noticed a change in thinking among content providers over the past several months. "Every publisher we have met with is now seeking to generate revenues for online access, which is a huge shift in strategy," he said in a statement.
One of the tools Journalism Online is touting allows readers to have one account to access content across multiple Web sites and platforms.
"All decisions with respect to how to charge, what to charge, whom to charge or how and whether to bundle print, online and e-reader subscriptions will be left to each publisher," Brill said. "They could make any number of decisions, including deciding not to do anything once they consider all of the options we develop for them."
Journalism Online declined to name the affiliates involved with the company.
Nielsen Business Media